S.O.S – eVoice For Justice – e-news weekly
Spreading the light of humanity & freedom
Editor: Nagaraj.M.R……. vol.5 . issue.20 ………16/05/2009
EDITORIAL : GUNS N’ ROSES international war crimes tribunal
9 / 11 WTC attack , 26 / 11 MUMBAI attack , bomb blasts in pakistan
India, U.S.A , U.K , Pakistan and various other countries
have given birth to & supported various terror outfits, all with the
objective of widening their area of influence, to get hold of
governance of other countries, to loot resources of other countries.
At no time they were bothered about the welfare of innocent people
in those victim countries.
Now, when the Frankenstein monster they fathered TERRORISM
is haunting them , came home to roost in their own backyards , all
these countries are crying foul.
Take for instance Pakistan , it has got enough problems on hand , poverty , unemployment , malnutrition , hunger , illiteracy is rampant in Pakistan. Ordinary Pakistanis are suffering, ordinary Pakistanis does not need neither war nor jihad , what they need is food , healthcare , education for their children.
Take for instance india, it has lot of problems on hand
like starvation, lack of education , health care, etc. The GOI says
it doesn’t have enough funds to solve these problems. These problems
are of pre-independece vintage, increasing multifold after
independence of india. Still the government of india spent crores of
rupees on training , arming of tamil terrorists in srilanka ,
unnecessarily poked it’s nose in east pakistan creating bangladesh,
created terrorist outfits in punjab & northeast to counter the
influence of other terrorist outfits. ALL THE WHILE PREACHING
PANCHASHEEL PRINCIPLES â€” peaceful co-existance , respect for
neighbour’s boundaries, etc, in the same breath. What ordinary Indians , commonfolk need is food , shelter , healthcare & education.
Take the case of USA , from the beginning since decades , it is the habbit of US administrators, britishers to sow the seeds of discontent between two countries , make them to go to war with each other ( simultaneously selling military hardware worth billions of dollars to those same countries by the way making profit in billions ) & to finally play the role of a truce maker thereby getting a foothold in the newly formed government plus getting reconstruction projects worth billions of dollars leading to profit of billions. Just remember the US invasion of iraq , citing presence of WMDs, finally nothing was found. However USA made billions of profit by business.
The common folk of whichever country , whichever religion you take , does not want war , everybody wants peace. The common folk need food , shelter , healthcare & education. It is the scheming politicians who go on the path of violence. POOJYA BAPUJIâ€™s , MAHATMA GANDHIJIâ€™s principles of non violence , non interference in the affairs of other individuals / other countries , love / compassion for fellow human beings is much relevant today.
Hereby, HRW urges the international war crimes tribunal , to
order the respective governments who aided terrorism ,to pay damages
to victim countries.
Jai hind. Vande mataram
CRIMES OF U.S PRESIDENT
From the day one the government of u.s.a is selfish & violating the rights of other countrymen. During cold war days , to expand it’s influence & to give more business for u.s arms manufacturers , the u.s.a sowed the seeds of terrorism in various countries & nurtured them through arms & finance supply , training. The AL-QUEDA & TALIBAN are it’s own babies.
The president bush of U.S.A was sufferring from low image ratings , the domestic economy was facing a slump , so to improve his own rating & bring more business to u.s industries , he schemed an inhuman ruthless plan. He wanted to take control of afghanisthan & iraq. He needed a ruse to invade them & concocted one murdering his very own countrymen.
human rights watch has doubted the authenticity of 9/11 in it’s articles months ago. it is just a ploy of the bush to divert attention of public from his dipping ratings , domestic problems like unemployment , economic lows and more importantly to find rather fabricate a reason for attacking the arab world , iraq. finally , to help it’s MNCs mint millions in reconstuction , oil contracts, etc. it is a savage act of bush for green bucks.
SEPTEMBER 9/11 WAS PLANNED !!!! VISIT : http://www.neiu.edu/~ayjamess/hmmm.htm#Main
The government of U.S.A thrown all international conventions into wind , lied about weapons of destruction in iraq & invaded a sovereign country iraq. Still , it was unabale to find any weapons of mass destruction in iraq. In it’s greed for power , green bucks , it inhumanly tortured prisoners , took them to 3rd countries for torture , bugged phones of u.s citizens & violated human rights of u.s citizens. In his ego , greed mr.bush has violated all human rights of not only u.s citizens but also human rights of innocent iraqis , afghans , etc & thrown all international laws into winds.
Now, the president himself has acknowledged the intelligence failure in iraq but defended his iraqi invasion. Mr. Bush will be remebered in the history books as a GREATEST LIAR , INHUMAN SCHEMING MEGALAMONIAC & GREEDY OLDMAN.
AMERICA INTROSPECT YOUSELF
By a reader
I agree with you as the issues you have raised are very valid. US was
least bothered about terrorism , when it was hitting other countries.
Terrorism has been there for a long time now in many countries.But
when it affected the US then they came out with this concept of ” War
against Terror”. My question is if they were genuinely interested in
curbing terrorism, where were they earlier. Because of their
policies, which at times are not in the interest of nations or
groups, they are being targeted. Its greed, which is behind these
policies. The greed to contol other places, and become more powerful.
Look at the average American Citizen, he is always in fear about
attacks. Recently during the bomb blast in New Delhi, saw the
Americans fleeing the capital first.
Recently there were some issue in the group about Exploitation and
Slaves. Well, you look at the history, whenever there has been any
supression on individuals, groups or countries, there has been a
revolt. How long can one tolerate the attrocities ? Kashmir is also
related to this problem. Kasmiri Pandits were in control of all the
power and held key positions, and Kashmiri Muslims were neglected,
thus came in this terrorism issue in Kashmir. Coming Back to US, it
never does anything, without their own vested interest. Why did the
US attack Iraq in the first place, was Saddam the real reason? I
guess, no. The UN inspection teams came down to Iraq to look out for
Weapons of Mass Destruction. Did they find anything???? No. US has
very sophisticated technologically advanced intelligence systems,
wherein they keep a tap of everything thats happenning around. Just
think for a moment, if a Company like Google can display defence
establishments and other sensitive information on its website, Google
earth, can you really believe that the US Intelligence would be
lacking anyway behind? They very well knew that there was nothing in
Iraq but still attacked. A couple of days ago there was a news item
which highlighted a former US political figure quoting ” That guy
(Saddam) is sitting on the Oil,and we can’t stand it”.
Where ever they are supporting, something or the other, there must be
some interest at the background. So, what is it in case of the
Gujarat Riots ? I guess we need to find out this first. These were
some thoughts which came to my mind and hence wrote it down.
In the Name of Democracy American War Crimes in Iraq and Beyond
by Jeremy Brecher, Jill Cutler and Brendan Smith
Brandon Hughey was a private at Fort Hood when he discovered that his
army unit was about to be sent to Iraq. The eighteen-year-old from
San Angelo, Texas, was desperate-not because he was afraid to go to
war, but because he was convinced that the Iraq war was immoral. He
considered solving the problem by taking his own life. Instead, he
got in a car and drove to Canada. He explained, “I would fight in an
act of defense, if my home and family were in danger. But Iraq had no
weapons of mass destruction. They barely had an army left, and [UN
Secretary-General] Kofi Annan actually said [attacking Iraq was] a
violation of the UN charter. It’s nothing more than an act of
aggression. You can’t go along with a criminal activity just because
others are doing it.” If, as the Bush administration has maintained,
the United States is fighting in Iraq to protect itself from
terrorism, free the people of Iraq from tyranny, enforce
international law, and bring peace and democracy to the Middle East,
then war resisters like Brandon Hughey appear deluded if not cowardly
But what if Private Hughey is right? What if the U.S. operation in
Iraq is “nothing more than an act of aggression?” What if it indeed
constitutes “criminal activity”? What, then, is the culpability of
President George W. Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and
other top U.S. officials? And what is the responsibility of ordinary
Americans? Until recently, the possibility that top U.S. officials
were responsible for war crimes seemed to many Americans nothing but
the invidious allegations of a few knee-jerk anti-Americans. But as
more and more suppressed photos and documents have been disclosed,
and as more and more eyewitness accounts from prisons and
battlefields have appeared in the media, Americans are undergoing an
agonizing reappraisal of the Iraq war and the broader war on terror
of which it is allegedly a part.
There are three sets of questions regarding possible U.S. war crimes
in Iraq. The first set of questions concerns the legality of the U.S.
attack on Iraq under international law. Secretary-General Kofi Annan
of the United Nations stated shortly before the attack that the UN
Charter is “very clear on the circumstances under which force can be
used. If the U.S. and others were to go outside the Council and take
military action, it would not be in conformity with the charter.” He
subsequently stated that the invasion of Iraq was “not in conformity
with the UN Charter, from our point of view, and from the Charter
part of view, it was illegal.” The U.S. admission that Iraq had no
weapons of mass destruction, and the growing evidence that the United
States fabricated the evidence on which that charge was based, has
provided added weight to Annan’s view.
The second set of questions involves the possible illegality of the
U.S. occupation of Iraq and its conduct. The seriousness of such
questions was recently underlined by the warning of Louise Arbour,
the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, that those guilty of
violations of international humanitarian rights laws-including
deliberate targeting of civilians, indiscriminate and
disproportionate attacks, killing of injured persons, and the use of
human shields-must be brought to justice, “be they members of the
Multinational Force or insurgents.”
The military technology the United States is using in Iraq, such as
cluster bombs and depleted uranium, may be illegal in itself. Under
Article 85 of the Geneva Conventions it is a war crime to launch “an
indiscriminate attack affecting the civilian population in the
knowledge that such an attack will cause an excessive loss of life or
injury to civilians.” A UN weapons commission described cluster bombs
as “weapons of indiscriminate effects.” A reporter for The Mirror
(United Kingdom) wrote from a hospital in Hillah, “Among the 168
patients I counted, not one was being treated for bullet wounds. All
of them, men, women, children, bore the wounds of bomb shrapnel. It
peppered their bodies. Blackened their skin. Smashed heads. Tore
limbs. A doctor reported that ‘All the injuries you see were caused
by cluster bombs’…The majority of the victims were children who
died because they were outside.”
The third set of questions has to do with the torture and abuse of
prisoners in U.S. custody. This has been a huge but unresolved issue
since it was first indelibly engraved in the public mind by the
photos from Abu Ghraib prison. Cascading disclosures have revealed
that torture and other forms of prisoner abuse have been endemic not
only in Iraq but in Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and many other U.S.
operations around the world.
facing the implications
The possibility that high U.S. officials may be guilty of war crimes
and may be preparing to commit more raises questions that few
Americans have yet faced. These questions go far beyond technical
legal matters to the broadest concerns of international security,
democratic government, morality, and personal responsibility. Part IV
presents perspectives from a variety of disciplines and political
viewpoints designed to help us address those questions.
The UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions, and the principles of
international law, while all too often violated, have provided some
basis for international peace and security. What is the likely result
of following the advice of the Bush administration’s John Bolton that
it is “a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international
law”? Is it likely to be greater freedom and security, or an unending
war of all against all? Are the American people-not to mention the
people of the world-ready to abandon the international rule of law
and return to what Justice Jackson called “a system of international
Some of the most difficult issues are faced by those in the military
and the government who may be directly complicit in war crimes. Some
have said no to participation in the war in Iraq and the cover-up of
related criminal activity.
Specialist Jeremy Hinzman of Rapid City, South Dakota, joined the
Eighty-second Airborne as a paratrooper in 2001. He wanted a career
in the military and did a stint in Afghanistan. Then he was ordered
to Iraq. “I was told in basic training that, if I’m given an illegal
or immoral order, it is my duty to disobey it. And I feel that
invading and occupying Iraq is an illegal and immoral thing to do.”
In September 2004, Stephen Funk, a marine reservist of Filipino and
Native American origin was tried for refusing to fight in Iraq. “In
the face of this unjust war based on deception by our leaders, I
could not remain silent. In my mind that would have been true
cowardice…I spoke out so that others in the military would realize
that they also have a choice and a duty to resist immoral and
In December 2004, the Hispanic sailor Pablo Paredes reported to his
ship in San Diego Harbor wearing a T-shirt reading, “Like a cabinet
member, I resign.” Refusing to help take troops to Iraq, the Bronx
native said, “I don’t want to be a part of a ship that’s taking three
thousand marines over there, knowing a hundred or more of them won’t
come back…I’d rather do military prison time than six months of
dirty work for a war that I and many others do not support. War
should be an absolute last resort…Never in a million years did I
imagine we would go to war with somebody who had done nothing to us.”
halting war crimes
Under the principles established by the Nuremberg and Tokyo war
crimes tribunals, those in a position to give orders are responsible
for war crimes and crimes against humanity conducted under their
authority. But responsibility does not end there. Anyone with
knowledge of illegal activity and an opportunity to do something
about it is a potential criminal under international law unless the
person takes affirmative measures to prevent the commission of the
Crimes are ordinarily dealt with by the institutions of law
enforcement. But those institutions are largely in the hands of
people who may be complicit in the very crimes that need to be
investigated. Can they be held accountable? Or can war criminals
forever act with impunity?
The problem of a government that is ostensibly democratically elected
but that defies actual accountability is one that citizens in many
countries have faced at one time or another. We can take inspiration
from the way citizens from Serbia to the Philippines and from Chile
to Ukraine have utilized “people power” to block illegal action and
force accountability on their leaders. We can similarly take
inspiration from resistance to illegitimate authority in our own
country from the American Revolution to the Watergate investigations
that ultimately brought the Nixon administration to account for its
criminal abuse of power.
in the name of democracy
If war crimes are being committed, they are being committed in the
name of democracy. Their ostensible purpose is to extend democracy
throughout the world. They are committed by a country that proudly
proclaims itself the world’s greatest democracy.
Such acts in Iraq and elsewhere represent, on the contrary, the
subversion of democracy. They reflect the imposition by violence and
brutality of a rule that is not freely chosen. Such acts also
represent a subversion of democracy at home. They represent a
presidency that has denied all accountability to Congress, courts, or
international institutions. As Elizabeth Holtzman puts it: “The claim
that the President…is above the law strikes at the very heart of
our democracy. It was the centerpiece of President Richard Nixon’s
defense in Watergate-a defense that was rejected by the courts and
lay at the foundation of the articles of impeachment voted against
him by the House Judiciary Committee.” It denies the constitutional
constraints that have made the United States a government under law.
It subverts democracy in the name of democracy.
War crimes represent the defiance not only of international but also
of U.S. law. The effort to halt them is at once a movement for peace
and a struggle for democracy.
Terror and Torture
By Jim Miles
29 April, 2009
The current media frenzy concerning Obama’s coming release of more information on U.S. torture between 2000 and 2005 is a political storm conveniently kept out of context. There are two aspects to the context that are missing. First, this is not new information and well before current events erupted into the news, the case has been made all along that the Bush administration in general – Bush and Cheney, their political advisors and legal representatives – are all complicit in contravening the Geneva Conventions on torture and the treatment of prisoners of war. Secondly, terror and torture go hand in glove, the two are fully related and have been used by the U.S. and its proxies in many different contexts around the world – and are still doing so as Obama has put an end to torture at Guantanamo, but has not denied renditions to friendly torturers elsewhere.
The spin-doctors in the White House are no longer allowing the use of the term “war on terror” although the facts of the war have not changed. As the global war on whatever or the long war on whomever continues, the abuses associated with terror and torture will continue to spread. The initiator of terror of course is the occupier of foreign territories creating the obvious wish on the part of the indigenous populations for the occupier to go home, currently involving most of the Middle East from Israel/Palestine through to Pakistan. This has happened throughout history, ancient and modern, from the Crusades and the Mongol hordes through the genocide of native populations in the Americas to the more modern terrors of a highly developed technological warfare that readily conquers “enemies” as defined by the political elites for a variety of reasons from religious zealotry to political zealotry, frequently one and the same thing, seen most evidently in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan….and Pakistan?
Put in simpler terms, the U.S. uses terror, the U.S. uses torture, its allies and compatriots use terror, use torture, and as the U.S. expands it war frontiers further into Pakistan, so will the edges of terror and torture expand.
Power and control
Torture is ultimately about power and control. It ranges from the pure brutality of physical torture often described in many of the wars for suppression of indigenous control in Central America to the more ‘refined’ torture currently used to break down a prisoner’s psychological persona without leaving the physical scars of the less sophisticated forms of torture. Torture is used to create terror, to create a population that is subservient and easily controlled by the very fear, the terror that it spreads. In turn, as terror and torture strips away the thin layers of civilization that control man’s baser instincts, terror and torture become devices used by the combatants on both sides.
As the most powerful country in the world, the U.S. role in abrogating human rights and crimes against humanity have a powerful effect elsewhere in the world. “The actions of the United States have also made it more difficult to critize the violations of international law by other countries, most notably Israel.” What occurred at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and Bagram airbase “bear more than a passing resemblance” with the “testimonies of Palestinians released from Isreali prisons.”
As expressed shortly after Abu Ghraib, “the powerful often turn to torture in times of crisis not because it works but because it salves their fears and insecurities with the psychic balm of empowerment.” Even though torture does not do what it is purported to do, provide useful information, “a plea to torture one terrorist with a ticking bomb becomes the rationale for insecure leaders to win the right to torture someone, anyone, to assuage the uncertainties of rule and empower themselves for dominion.” 
I have no sympathy – and perhaps a seed of disdain – for Obama’s current problems on the political front with his inheritance of the Bush legacy of torture. If the world is to look forward with “hope” for “change” it needs to start at home. Simply releasing more information will provide neither hope nor change. If Obama wishes to be more than a man of wonderful sounding phrases, he will have to do what is correct by international law and arrange whatever is necessary under U.S. law to investigate and prosecute those involved with the torture – not just the low level people, those “following orders”, but the ones in the executive and legislative branches who formed the concept and provided the legal okay for it, contrary to international laws.
From readings of international law, Obama himself becomes guilty of torture as anyone who is complicit with aiding and abetting torture becomes guilty of the crime. If he refuses to act, then under international standards, Obama becomes guilty of the crime. Unfortunately the U.S. is one of the most contradictory countries when it comes to upholding laws, always telling others that they need to be transparent, open, democratic, but when it suits its own purposes it relies on ignoring, abrogating, or denying international law.
Guilty until proven innocent
Phillippe Sands work “Torture Team” examines one particular case related to Guantanamo and arrives at the clear conclusion that there is good case for prosecuting Bush, Cheney, Feith, Haynes, Gonzales, Yoo, Bybee and others from this case in itself.  Others included in this list are the medical workers, physicians and psychologists, who supported those actually applying the torture.
Within its own internal laws the U.S. has provided immunity from prosecution under the Military Commissions Act as it “ Gives US officials immunity from prosecution for torturing detainees that were captured before the end of 2005 by US military and CIA.”  Sands adds, “Legislation creating such an immunity would allow the crime to be covered up: it was almost an admission that a crime had occurred.”  That immunity, however arguable under U.S. law, does not extend outside the U.S.:
Under the principle of universal jurisdiction, any country may prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by anyone anywhere. 
Alfred McCoy in “A Question of Torture – CIA Interrogation From the Cold War to the War on Terror” examines the history of torture up to the days of Abu Ghraib. He starts by stating “five intertwined aspects of its perverse psychology”, the fifth of which needs to be restated strongly today:
…a nation that sanctions torture in defiance of its democratic principles pays a terrible price. For nearly two millennia, the practice has been identified with tyrants and empires. For the past two centuries, its repudiation has been synonymous with the humanist ideals of the Enlightenment and democracy. When any modern state tortures even a few victims, the stigma compromises its majesty and corrupts its integrity. Its officials must spin an ever more complex web of lies that, in the end, weakens the bonds of trust and the rule of law that are the sine qua non of a democracy. 
For Obama to avoid complicity, for Obama to not be seen as opposing basic human rights, for Obama to avoid being labelled an ineffective orator, he needs to act on the information that is at hand and proceed with some form of investigation that has the power it needs to fully complete its legal tasks. For the U.S. to not be seen as it has for the past decade as a country that trammels other people’s international rights, the people of the U.S., and their elected representatives, need to support that investigation.
Canada is a minor player on the world political scene, increasingly seen as nothing more than a U.S. puppet, a minion succouring favour, trying to be one of the big boys on the global stage by supporting the Bush doctrine, even after Bush is gone. The Canadian government under Harper has supported the U.S. in Afghanistan and currently on into Pakistan without considering the context of who started the great mujahideen warriors in the first place (the U.S. CIA and Pakistani ISI) and why they are now fighting them in Central Asia (gas, oil, containment of China and Russia).
This complicity extends to torture. The case of Maher Arar is a relatively well-known extradition case that the government aided in. More recently, now that Guantanamo is being shut down, a Canadian citizen Omar Khadr is being denied entry back into Canada even though the Federal Court has said it should be allowed. One of the government’s arguments is that Khadr needs to be processed through the U.S. legal system (hmm…see above) even though under international law he could be tried here in Canada. While Harper wishes to appear tough on terrorism, he is only making himself complicit in the illegal practices utilized by the U.S. at Guantanamo, soon perhaps to be sanctioned by Obama as well.
The Canadian pretender to the throne, whom I do not always agree with, appears to understand the situation more clearly than Harper. Michael Ignatieff states,
…even in emergency, even if some liberties must be suspended, a constitutional state must remain answerable to the higher law, a set of standards that protect foundational commitments to the dignity of every person. 
Terror is an act of aggression. It is part and parcel of the nature of warfare, and is a particular conjoint of unilateral pre-emptive warfare. The answer to terror is twofold. First the initiating countries, those that are doing the invading, manipulating, coercive activities, need to stop. The second is that terror used in response to terror cannot be stopped by war, but needs to be stopped by international police work and the upholding of international law internally and internationally by all parties.
For Canada, hopefully Harper will see the last of his controlling reign in the next election and equally hopefully, Ignatieff can stand up his own beliefs in human rights extending beyond state legalities. Obama needs to act in his own back yard and ignore his own state legalities of the Military Commissions Act, or terror will continue regardless of any war label applied to U.S. actions. If it cannot be contained and brought to justice in the U.S. it will not happen internationally.
 Byers, Michael. War Law – Understanding International Law and Armed Conflict . Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver, 2005. p. 154.
 McCoy, Alfred W. A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror . Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2006. p. 207.
 Sands, Phillippe. Torture Team – Deception, Cruelty and the Compromise of Law . Allen Lane (Penguin), 2008. See review at http://www.palestinechronicle.com/
 Anup Shah. “ Military Commissions Act 2006—Unchecked Powers?” Znet . October 02, 2006. http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/3050
 Sands, ibid, p. 252.
 Byers, ibid, p. 143
 McCoy, ibid, p. 14.
 Ignatieff, Michael. The Lesser Evil – Political Ethics in an Age of Terror . Princeton University, 2004. p. 44.
Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews for The Palestine Chronicle. Miles’ work is also presented globally through other alternative websites and news publications.
CIA crimes and Polish complicity?: transparency and accountability needed
3 April 2009
Support transparent investigation into alleged CIA ‘black site’ in Poland
In March 2008, the Warsaw Public Prosecutor’s office initiated an investigation into long-standing allegations that between 2003 and 2005, Poland hosted a secret detention centre, run by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Detainees held in secret CIA custody were subjected to torture and enforced disappearance, and if the investigation proves the existence of a CIA “black site” in Poland, Polish officials may be may be implicated in some of these crimes. In June 2008, the investigation was moved to the National Public Prosecutor’s office and given highest priority.
Amnesty International welcomed the investigation as an important step towards accountability for the unlawful detention and transfer of detainees in and through Europe.
It is not the first time, however, that the Polish government has conducted an investigation into these allegations. There was a limited investigation by the Polish parliamentary secret service committee in November and December 2005, which the authorities claimed proved conclusively that no secret detention facility was operated by the CIA in Poland. The findings, scope and methodology of this inquiry have never been made public.
This time must be different; this time the investigation must be rigorous and transparent. If it produces evidence that Polish or US agents have committed crimes, these individuals must be brought to justice. There must be no immunity from prosecution for involvement in human rights violations.
Join Amnesty International in urging the Polish government to ensure that the prosecutor’s investigation is thorough, independent and transparent. The methods and findings of the investigation, and any charges or judicial proceedings that result, must be made public.
AN APPEAL TO HONOURABLE GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA
Your excellency ,
Sub : Clemency for Troy Davis
I am writing to urge you to exercise leadership, as Governor of the state of Georgia, to see to it that the death sentence of Troy Davis is commuted, in order to ensure that Georgia does not put to death a man who may well be innocent. I believe you have the power to do so, and I believe you must use it in this case.
In this extraordinary case, where a man with a strong claim to innocence may well be executed without a court ever holding a hearing on his claims, I urge you to act in the interests of justice and support clemency for Troy Davis. An execution in this case, without a proper hearing on significant evidence of innocence, would severely compromise the integrity of Georgia’s justice system.
As you may know, Mr. Davis was convicted of the 1989 murder of police officer Mark MacPhail, a conviction based solely on witness testimony, and seven of the nine non-police witnesses have recanted or contradicted their trial testimony. The courts, citing procedural rules and time limits, have so far refused to hold an evidentiary hearing to examine these witnesses. Executive clemency exists, and executive action is required, to preserve justice when the protections afforded by our appeals process fail to do so.
I strongly urge you to take such action now and ensure that the death sentence of Troy Davis is commuted. Thank you for your attention to this extremely serious matter.
AN APPEAL TO H.E.HONOURABLE PRESIDENT OF USA
Sub : Hold torturers accountable with independent commission
I want you to investigate and prosecute those responsible for torture.
According to the recently released bipartisan Senate Armed Services Committee report, the previous administration’s Office of Legal Counsel “distorted the meaning and intent of anti-torture laws” and “rationalized the abuse of detainees in U.S. custody.”
Please help establish and support a non-partisan, independent commission of distinguished Americans to examine, and provide a comprehensive report on, policies and actions related to the detention, treatment, and transfer of detainees after 9/11 and the consequences of those actions, and to make recommendations for future policy in this area. Such a commission needs to be independent, backed by the full force of law, and adequately funded.
The U.S. government has a legal obligation to prosecute grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. I ask that you help establish this commission of inquiry to live up to obligations and to help hold perpetrators of abuse accountable. Moreover, I ask that you ask Attorney General Eric Holder to launch a criminal investigation into abuses and hold those responsible for violations accountable.
Finally, I would like you to ensure that the Administration produces and publishes all remaining relevant policy memos that argued for, documented, and established the basis for coercive interrogation, detainee treatment and policy in the last administration. It is important that we expose the truth about the abuses that were committed in our name and hold the guilty responsible so that these abuses do not happen again. Please let me know of your actions to hold abusers accountable, and to uphold our obligations under law.
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