Letter to the Editor: It’s suppose to be a war on terror, not a war on human rights


Dear Editor,

Members of SDSU Amnesty International met on Monday, Nov. 26 to take action against the use of torture. In addition to writing to members of Congress, we watched the documentary, “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib,” which serves as a grim reminder of human rights violations committed by the U.S. government in the “war on terror.” It is far past time for these abuses to end and for their perpetrators to be held accountable for their actions. Congress must pass the Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007 to ensure that the rights of people taken into U.S. custody in the war on terror are respected. Without it, the legal loopholes created by the Military Commissions Act will continue to allow indefinite detention and abuse of individuals in custody.

The conditions for detainees in Guantánamo are also a cause for grave concern. Amnesty International reports that 520 Guantánamo detainees were found to be “enemy combatants” (a status that strips them of fundamental legal rights) by Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) composed of three military officers. The CSRTs relied on secret evidence and permitted evidence gained through coercion for these determinations, and detainees had no access to lawyers during these procedures. (http://web.amnesty.org/library/print/ENGAMR511862006).

It is our responsibility as people of conscience to speak out against human rights violations carried out by our government and to ensure that our tax dollars are not used to fund torture and ill-treatment. Please urge your members of Congress to pass the Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007. For more information, come to our next meeting on Dec. 10 at 5:00 pm in room 264 of the Student Union, or e-mail us at [email protected].

Meghann TooheyGroup Coordinator