Tuesday, March 08, 2005

How could Torture Advocate Help Torture Survivors?

The Group Against Torture in Sudan (GATS)
4521 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (USA)
Contact person: Siddiq A. Hadi siddiq01@aol.com 215
For Immediate Release

How could Torture Advocate Help Torture Survivors?

Philadelphia, PA-The Group Against Torture in Sudan (GATS) is seriously troubled by the Bush Administration’s nomination of Mr. Alberto Gonzales to the post of Attorney General of the United States.

As White House Counsel Mr. Gonzales supervised the development of policies that were applied towards the handling of prisoners in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere and wrote a memo that was considered contemptuous of the Geneva Conventions. At his current confirmation hearings he stated “The decision not to apply Geneva in our conflict with Al Qaeda was absolutely the right decision for a variety of reasons,” ostensibly stating that U.S. officials need not be bound by laws prohibiting torture.

To nominate a person who has effectively facilitated and justified the use of torture by this government is outrageous and insulting, particularly for the more than 300,000 torture survivors who live in this country.

We believe that every candidate for such an important office must be carefully evaluated on the basis of his or her entire record, including whether or not he or she has demonstrated a strong commitment to the protection of civil rights and civil liberties. This is the only thing that differentiates the democracy we want here and the tyranny of fanatic regimes like that of Sudan. How can we claim that we are different from the fanatic regime of Khartoum, Sudan – a government that arrogantly made the founder of the torture system their Chief Justice? How could GATS members trust that Mr. Gonzales, as Attorney General, would advocate on their behalf to bring the torturers to justice?

We add our voice to all other survivors of torture and human rights activists in other organizations and call upon the United States Senate to reject the nomination of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States.

The Group Against Torture in Sudan (GATS), is a human rights advocacy group of Sudanese American activists in Philadelphia. It advocates for educating people about the ongoing civil war and government organized torture in Sudan; promoting Truth and Reconciliation among warring communities in Sudan; and connecting torture survivors to centers of treatment and rehabilitation.

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