For Immediate Release – May 10, 2004
American Muslim Voice Global Exchange
Website: www.amuslimvoice.org Website:www.globalexchange.org
Contact person: Contact person:
\Samina Faheem Sundas Medea Benjamin
Bay Area Religious and Human Rights Groups Call for Rumsfeld's Resignation
Launch new website www.FireRumsfeld.org to extend call throughout the nation
What: Press Conference
Where: Masjid Dar El-Salam, 20 Jones St, San Francisco
When: Wednesday, May 12, 11 a.m.
Who: Samina Faheem Sundas, American Muslim Voice
Medea Benjamin, Global Exchang
Rayan ADC, SF Chapter
Sulleman Ghali, SF Islamic Center
Riva Einteen, KPFA Board member
Ben Allan, Blue Triangle Network
Cecilia Cheng, Justice for New Americans
As leaders in the Bay Area religious and human rights community, we are outraged at the torture and extreme humiliation of Iraqi prisoners. We are outraged at the egregious violations of due process in US-run prisons from Guantanamo to Afghanistan to Iraq, where the Geneva conventions that have governed the treatment of prisoners of war for decades have been cast aside. We are outraged at the larger culture of illegal behavior that is manifested in U.S. facilities around the world and here in the U.S. itself, by torture, indefinite detentions, collective punishment, the indiscriminate use of force, and the premise of guilty until proven innocent.
This culture of illegal behavior has been set at the highest level, and responsibility needs to be taken at the highest level. That is why we are coming together to call for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
“The soldiers who abused the Iraqi prisoners must be punished. But it is not enough to only castigate those insubordinate soldiers. Among those who physically committed the abuses, many of them were reservists” says Samina F.Sundas of American Muslim Voice. “In order to demonstrate to the world that the American people will not tolerate torture, accountability must reach all the way up the chain of command.” We need to have an independent investigation.
“It is the Secretary’s responsibility to guarantee that the U.S. is abiding by the Geneva Conventions that govern the treatment of prisoners, and he has utterly failed to do so,” says Medea Benjamin of the human rights group Global Exchange. “Apologies, although necessary, are likely to fall flat if the international community does not see that those at the highest rank are held responsible. For the good of the reputation of our nation, Mr. Rumsfeld must go.”
Several groups are coming together to launch a new website, www.FireRumsfeld.org, where they are calling on members of the religious and human rights community around the country to join the call.