American Friends Service Committee
Pat Farren, Founding Editor
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Peacework has been published monthly since 1972, intended to serve as a source of dependable information to those who strive for peace and justice and are committed to furthering the nonviolent social change necessary to achieve them. Rooted in Quaker values and informed by AFSC experience and initiatives, Peacework offers a forum for organizers, fostering coalition-building and teaching the methods and strategies that work in the global and local community. Peacework seeks to serve as an incubator for social transformation, introducing a younger generation to a deeper analysis of problems and issues, reminding and re-inspiring long-term activists, encouraging the generations to listen to each other, and creating space for the voices of the disenfranchised.
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New Abu Ghraib Photos Published
New grisly photos of torture allegedly taken at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq under US control were aired on the Australian television show Dateline on February 15, 2006. Few US corporate media outlets have highlighted the story.
"We continue to see undeniable evidence that abuse and torture has been widespread and systematic, yet high level government officials have not been held accountable for creating the policies that led to these atrocities," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. "We need to look up the chain of military command, because when the rule of law is not followed all of our personal freedoms are threatened. President Bush should appoint an independent counsel to uncover the full truth about the extent of the abuse and who is ultimately responsible."
The ACLU sued the Department of Defense for withholding photographs and videos depicting abuse at Abu Ghraib and other detention facilities. In September 2005, a federal judge in New York ruled that the government must turn over the Abu Ghraib images, as well as other visual evidence of abuse. The decision is currently on appeal by the government. "The public has a right to know the full truth about the treatment of detainees not just in Abu Ghraib but elsewhere in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay," said ACLU attorney Amrit Singh. "Instead of continuing to deny the widespread abuse, the government must hold relevant officials accountable for this abuse."
Amnesty International is focusing on these photos to revitalize efforts to ban extraordinary rendition by passing H.R. 952, the "Torture Outsourcing Prevention Act" and S. 654, the "Convention Against Torture Implementation Act," which address these concerns. To send emails to Congress see www.tellthetruthabouttorture.org.
In January, 2006, a new coalition, the National
Religious Campaign Against Torture, was formed to mobilize