Tuesday, October 10, 2006

THE TORTURE DEBATE, Part II - Letter from Ariel Dorfman

Dear friends who contacted me regarding the U.S. position on torture:
I have been overwhelmed by the number of you who have expressed your horror and sadness that the United States would abandon its founding principles of presumed innocence and habeus corpus, as well as its support for the Geneva Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and make a policy of torturing human beings in the name of security and freedom. It shows that there are many among us -- I would hope a majority -- who believe we are still a nation of laws, with respect for justice and an abhorrence of the barbaric practices used by authoritarian regimes and criminals.
A number of you responded asking what can be done to stop our country from engaging in these practices.
The Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC) is a coalition of torture survivors (of every ideological sign, by the way) who are dedicated to work toward the abolition of the use of torture and ill treatment currently practiced by more that 150 governments (it's dreadful to realize that we are now being added to the list!). If you feel as strongly as I do about a zero tolerance for torture being used as a "tool" by our government, I urge you to support their crucial work and continue to speak out, writing letters to editors, to your representatives in Congress, and the President.
I have written to Sister Dianna Ortiz, who heads TASSC in Washington, D.C., and she has suggested that you could contact them about any help you might be willing to provide to them.
Their website is: http://tassc.org/
Or you can write to: info@tassc.org

Cordially, and in solidarity,
Ariel Dorfman

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