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CONTACT: Rob Crawford

WSRCAT is a non-partisan, inter-faith organization, also welcoming to people unaffiliated with any faith tradition. We are working to end all U.S. sponsored torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners. Our work is educational as well as political advocacy in those areas that enhance our human rights.

WSRCAT has sponsored workshops and discussions in congregations, universities, and town halls throughout the State of Washington. We continue to convey the urgency of our mission to our political leaders, especially when President Trump has voiced his support of torture, until these atrocities are abolished forever. We welcome your participation and support.


UPCOMING: As part of the National Week of Action to Close Guantanamo, WSRCAT presents:

"Guantanamo, Lawlessness, and the Myth of American Exceptionalism"

Guest Speaker: JONATHAN HAFETZ

Thursday, January 11, 2018
7:00-9:00 PM

University of Washington Law School - Room 138 On Campus, at 4293 Memorial Way Northeast, Seattle

Facebook Link

After 9/11, the United States created a network of secret prisons where it held terrorism suspects for years without charge or access to a court, and subjected them to torture and other mistreatment, in violation of the Constitution and international law. While the US has renounced several of these practices, Guantanamo, the symbol of US lawlessness remains. The US has also failed to implement any mechanism to ensure accountability for the worst abuses. The Trump administration, meanwhile, has raised concerns about US backsliding on providing basic due process guarantees to all persons in US custody. This talk will examine what the US treatment of terrorism suspects reveals about the notion of American exceptionalism.

Jonathan Hafetz is a senior staff attorney with the ACLU Center for Democracy. He is also a professor of law at Seton Hall University School of Law, where he teaches courses on constitutional law, national security law, and international law. Mr. Hafetz works on issues involving detention, torture, surveillance, racial and religious discrimination, and the intersection of immigration and national security law. . . . He has written books on habeas corpus and on international criminal law and authored numerous articles for academic journals and popular publications. Hafetz is an enormously important figure in the fight against torture and unlawful practices of detention. It would be hard to overstate his significance. He is a celebrated litigator, a multiple award-winning author, and a world class legal scholar.

CO-SPONSORS: *UW: Center for Human Rights; Jackson School of International Studies; Simpson Center for the Humanities; Department of Political Science; Department of Law, Societies & Justice; Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies; Center for Global Studies; International Human Rights Clinic; Sustainable International Development graduate program; Amnesty International at UW. Additional co-sponsors forthcoming.

*Community co-sponsors: Amnesty International, Group 4; ACLU-WA, National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT). Additional co-sponsors forthcoming.

***WSRCAT will likely be coordinating an additional action on January 11. More information will be provided.

WSRCAT's Statement on Guantanamo [.doc]


Past, Notable Events:

The Mitchell and Jessen Case Settlement - WSRCAT Response

The 2017 Mitchell and Jessen lawsuit and subsequent settlement has national and international significance. In response to the civil suit brought against these two psychologists who designed the CIA torture program, WSRCAT organized a series of three events in Spokane and Seattle. WSRCAT acted to promote the message that all circumstances of torture are wrong, and that perpetrators must be held accountable for violations of national and international laws. We believe that criminal charges should be brought against Mitchell and Jessen as well as the CIA officials who hired them and authorized their torture techniques.

If you missed these events, we encourage you to follow the links that lead to videos and texts of our speakers.

THE LEGAL OBLIGATION TO PREVENT AND PROSECUTE TORTURE

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: JUAN MENDEZ

You can view the recorded video of this event at:
http://kaltura.com/tiny/dtojb


WHY TORTURE IS WRONG

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: CURT GOERING, Executive Director, Center for Victims of Torture.

COMMENTATOR: Rev. RICH LANG, District Superintendent, Pacific Northwest Conference of The United Methodist Church, Seattle District.

You can view the recorded video of this event at:
https://www.cvt.org/blog/healing-and-human-rights/why-torture-wrong-0

For the text of Rev. Rich Lang's remarks, please visit WSRCAT's guest page at:
http://www.wsrcat.org/richlang.html

THE MORAL AND POLITICAL OBLIGATION TO RESIST TO TORTURE

JOHN KIRIAKOU, former CIA whistleblower.
LISA HAJJAR, Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara..
RON STIEFF, Executive Director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT).
ROB CRAWFORD, Co-founder of WSRCAT and Professor Emeritus from the University of Washington, Tacoma.

You can view the video, provided by Mike McCormick, on: YouTube.


STATEMENT OF WSRCAT POSITIONS ON TORTURE

  • Torture violates our country's highest ideals and has gravely damaged our nation's reputation in the eyes of the world. TORTURE IS ALWAYS WRONG.
  • Torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment carried out by the US government caused immense sufferning and many deaths. The United States is morally and legally obligated to provide compensation and treatment for victims of torture.
  • Torture is illegal in both domestic and international law. It is a democratic responsibility and legal obligation to prevent and prosecute torture. Perpetrators need to be held accountable.
  • The reauthorization or covert practice of torture continues to be a threat.
  • A culture of impunity in relation to the crime of torture creates the likelihood of its repetition and contributes to a culture of unrestrained violence within the CIA and parts of the military, among police and in prisons, and even within the presidency.
  • Not least, in the current political climate the continuing rhetoric of torture and defense of torture sets a tone that fans the flames of a growing culture of violence, especially among far right groups.
  • Given the ongoing danger of reintroducing so-called "enhanced interrogation" as official US policy, the tenuous status of human rights in the new administration, and powerful ideological forces that continue to shape public attitudes about torture, we believe that public education is a moral and political necessity. We also consider torture to be a bellwether issue. If torture is not wrong, then nothing is wrong. Resistance to torture is one in the same with resistance to war and militarism. We ask for your participation at our events and help in spreading the word.


    Donations are welcome to support our anti-torture work.
    Contributions can be mailed to our fiscal agent, WWFOR, and mailed to:

    WWFOR
    225 N. 70th St.
    Seattle, WA 98103

    Please make checks out to "WWFOR" and designate your gift to "WSRCAT" in the memo section of your check. Thank you!



    Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture - WSRCAT


    Torture is a crime against humanity.



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    If torture is not wrong, nothing is wrong. - Rob Crawford

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