CONTACT: Rob Crawford


We encourage you to read the recent article published at The Intercept, from John Washington, on family separations at the border: Family Separations at the Border Constitute Torture

The suffering that Trump's policies have caused is clearly stated in the latest report from Physicians for Human Rights. We are not surprised to see PHR apply the word "torture" to the treatment of both asylum-seeking parents and their children separated by US policy. Please follow the link below and read about the work of Physicans for Human Rights in documenting the harm that family separation, a form of torture, is causing to these families. A link to the executive summary and full report is also provided on their page for you to download.

  • Physicans for Human Rights Report

  • Our Purpose:

    The Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture (WSRCAT) was launched in October 2007. We are a non-partisan, inter-faith organization, also welcoming to people unaffiliated with any faith tradition. WSRCAT is committed to advancing the moral position that torture is wrong under any and all circumstances. There can be no exceptions to the ethical and legal prohibitions against torture. We are working to end all U.S.-sponsored torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Our work takes the form of education well as political advocacy in all matters associated with torture and interrelated human rights abuses.

    WSRCAT has sponsored workshops and discussions in congregations, universities, and townhalls throughout the State of Washington. We have organized and participated in vigils and other protests. We have met with our Congressional representatives, their staff, and carried out additional lobbying efforts in support of our goals and specific requests. We sponsored a No Torture Banner Campaign for congregations in the Puget Sound region. We have consistently demanded the closure of Guantanamo Bay detention center. We have organized events and campaigns for accountability for U.S. officials who are responsible for torture. We have called for the public release of the full Senate Report on CIA torture.

    After the election of Donald Trump, we opposed the appointments of Gina Haspel for Director of the CIA and Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State, primarily for their involvement in or support of torture. In 2017, WSRCAT was deeply involved in education and publicity in response to a major national event occurring in Washington State: the civil case against James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the two psychologists who devised and then participated in the CIA's torture program.

    For additional information about our activities, please see our ABOUT page.

    We welcome your participation and support! You can support our work by sending contributions to our fiscal agent:

    225 N. 70th St.
    Seattle, WA 98103

    A New Direction for WSRCAT
    WSRCAT Stands Against Trump's War on Asylum Seekers, Migrants and Immigrants

    The global crisis of forced migration has become one of the great moral challenges of our time. A moral response to this crisis must begin with the obligation of people in relatively safe and prosperous countries to provide refuge to people fleeing impossible living conditions, including fear of persecution, violence and torture.

    WSRCAT's steering committee recognizes that our anti-torture work must now include opposition to the government's abuse of migrant and immigrant human rights, including the right to asylum.

    The reprioritization of our work began with the 2018 family separation tactics employed by the Trump administration as part of its zero tolerance policies toward migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

    The traumas suffered by the victims of the family separation policies are a form of psychological torture, especially given the administration's admission that its harsh measures are intended to deter migrants trying to reach the U.S. Not only were countless migrants never reunited with their children nor children with parents, it is now well documented that family separations continue through the imprisonment and deportation of adults traveling with children and through ICE raids that terrorize, detain and deport undocumented immigrants, many who have lived in the U.S. for years. The forced separation of children and parents is a grave violation of core moral values and internationally guaranteed human rights. The policies that result in these separations are both cruel and illegal.

    WSRCAT joins our allies in the immigrant rights community in saying NO! to these inhuman acts by the Trump administration.

    Further, several of the administration's policies toward migrants and immigrants, too numerous to enumerate here, amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Some of these policies have resulted in the uncounted deaths of migrants -- particularly border enforcement that forces people to take more dangerous routes across the border, deportation and return of asylum seekers to unsafe countries, and other policies that aim to restrict access to the U.S. for purposes of asylum. We also recognize that, according to research conducted under the auspices of the Center for Victims of Torture, 44% of refugees resettled in the U.S. have suffered torture.

    Thus, consistent with our founding purpose, WSRCAT is now reprioritizing our work in response to Trump's war on migrants and immigrants, a war launched on defenseless civilians seeking to escape violence and unlivable conditions and a war on people who are desperately seeking our help.

    Trump's war on migrants and immigrants has become the leading edge of a much larger anti-immigrant, far-right movement in our country, a movement that encompasses white nationalist or white supremacist dimensions, extreme religious views, and tolerance of or frequent incitement to violence. Far-right politics rely on mobilizing fears and resentments and blaming others for people's troubles. Migrants, immigrants, and Muslims have become the opportunistic targets of choice in a concerted and fast-moving effort to transform our country into a closed and authoritarian bastion of privilege and power for groups who fear they are being displaced and replaced.

    If the far-right continues to hold and tighten its grip on the reins of power, the loss of everything we hold dear will be placed in grave danger. This endangerment includes the imminent demise of human life and mass extinction of other life forms as climate catastrophe moves beyond human capacity to reverse it.

    We also realize that the racism now focused on migrants, immigrants, and Muslims is consistent with, reinforces, and is reinforced by the deep racism against African Americans and all people of color; and is also connected to sexism in all its forms. We do not approach Trump's war on migrants and immigrants as an isolated matter.

    We also emphasize the right of refugees to seek and enjoy asylum, a right firmly entrenched in domestic and international law. Asylum is a human right established in recognition of the moral duty to provide a safe, dignified environment to individuals and families fleeing violence and persecution. Not least, protecting asylum in the U.S. is also vital for fostering public understanding of the impossible living conditions that force people to leave their homes and the governmental and economic policies that contribute to those conditions.

    WSRCAT pledges itself to defend the rights of all migrants, asylum seekers and immigrants.

    Donations to WSRCAT may be made through our fiscal agent, WWFOR, and mailed to:

    225 N. 70th St.
    Seattle, WA 98103

    Please make checks payable 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.


    Torture is Always Wrong