FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sophie Westacott
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY AND RELEASE OF SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE REPORT SUMMARY CALLS FOR AN AMERICAN RE-COMMITMENT AS A WORLD LEADER OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Los Angeles, CA – Wednesday, December 10, 2014. The Program for Torture Victims (PTV) today released the following statement in response to the public release of the executive summary of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s historic and bipartisan report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) former detention and interrogation program:
PTV applauds Senator Dianne Feinstein’s and the Senate Intelligence Committee’s tenacity to produce a thorough and comprehensive review of the CIA torture program.
“PTV documents victims of state – sponsored torture every day in Los Angeles and through its evidence and reports to human rights organizations, the United States, and United Nations, helps hold over 70 countries and their leaders accountable for horrific crimes of torture. It would be hypocritical of us to not question our own government. All countries, including our own, should be held accountable and take steps to end torture,” says Trip Oldfield, Executive Director.
“Rehabilitating America’s image as a human rights leader requires an open debate over the truth of our activities after 9/11. An informed conversation about America’s use of torture is necessary in order to reach a lasting consensus against torture and to ensure that such grave mistakes are never again repeated. With the release of this report, the United States government has acknowledged the full scope and scale of what was done. Now, on Human Rights Day, let’s talk about how we end torture forever,” adds Oldfield.
The Program for Torture Victims assists the courageous refugees of state-sponsored torture and persecution who flee to the U.S. for protection and a second chance. Frequent targets include human rights activists, union leaders, journalists, teachers, LGBT and women’s rights defenders, members of religious or ethnic minorities, environmentalists, and student leaders. A local response to an international human rights crisis, PTV has offices in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties offering free medical and psychological care, peer support, food, clothing, legal assistance and housing referrals.
Human Rights Day honors the United Nations— General Assembly‘s adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the United Nations.