NRCAT states support for Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007
On January 13 – 15, 2006, Dr. George Hunsinger, McCord Professor of Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, convened:
Theology, International Law, and Torture:
A Conference on Human Rights and Religious Commitment and at this conferene, populated by many incredible speakers, he announced the formation of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT).
On February 13, 2007, NRCAT announced its support for a bill that would roll back key provisions of the Military Commissions Act signed into law in October of last year by President Bush. The legislation, introduced by Senators Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Russell Feingold (D-WI), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is called the “Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007 — A Bill to Provide for the Effective Prosecution of Terrorists and to Guarantee Due Process Rights”, and would restore the right of habeas corpus, reinstate the United States’ commitment to the Geneva Conventions with respect to the treatment of detainees, and restore important elements of due process to hearing procedures for detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay.
Their press release continues,
This legislation is urgently needed,” Jeanne Herrick-Stare, Chair of NRCAT Coordinating Committee, said, “to not only restore the core elements of due process to our treatment of detainees, but also to restore the United States’ role as a world leader in human rights. Enactment of the Military Commissions Act was a dark day in our nation’s history; the legislation introduced today — if enacted — will help restore a measure of dignity to an America we can again believe in.
According to their mission statement,
As men and women of faith and conscience, we are joined together on a non-partisan basis in profound opposition to torture and cruel and inhuman practices by anyone for any purpose. As United States-based organizations, we feel particular responsibility for the abusive practices being utilized by the United States government today. The United States has historically been a leader in outlawing these practices. The ever-increasing evidence, however, makes it all too clear that current grim abuses are not isolated incidents, but rather constitute a widespread pattern.
Although our beliefs are rooted in many different religions, and although we worship in different ways and in different languages, we stand firmly united and unswerving on this crucial moral issue. Together we will work for the immediate cessation of torture by the United States, whether direct or by proxy, within our territory or abroad. We reject all proffered justifications and distorted definitions. Our condemnation of torture is not based on any political opinion or on the laws or treaties of any nations. Rather, we are guided by a higher law that serves as a compass for all of humanity.
Sign on statements both for individuals and organizations can be found here