Stopping Torture, Congressional Visits, Executive Order

Volunteers are needed to organize local delegations to Congressional offices to ask our elected officials to encourage the next President to sign an Executive Order banning torture.

No2Torture, a grass roots Presbyterian group seeking to end the use of torture by the U.S., is working with the National Religious Campaign against Torture (NCRAT) to have the next President of our country ban torture by issuing an Executive Order. The 218th General Assembly (2008) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) took action supporting this ban. Other General Assemblies have also addressed the issue of torture.

No2Torture and NRCAT are looking for individuals or groups who will organize delegations to visit the offices of their congress people on November 12 to urge that the Representatives and Senators join this effort for an Executive Order banning torture. Delegations might be recruited in congregations, presbyteries, ecumenical or interfaith groups, and in the local community.

Contact Carol Wickersham of No2Torture for more information. Resources for organizing the delegation and the visit will be provided.

NRCAT, in alliance with Evangelicals for Human Rights and the Center for Victims of Torture, have launched an effort that calls upon the President to issue an executive order banning torture based on six core principles embodied in a Declaration of Principles.  The groups are calling this effort the “Campaign to Ban Torture.”

Both Presidential candidates have made statements in favor of banning torture. What is needed is action: an Executive Order; Congressional action in the form of legislation; and hearings to determine responsibility for the torture that has occurred. (In 2006, the 217th General Assembly called Congress to convene an investigative body to inquire into whether any official or officer of the United States government bears direct or command responsibility for having ordered or participated in violations of law in the mistreatment of persons detained by government of the United States.)

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