Who We Are
Human Rights First's Elect to End Torture '08 Campaign
Human Rights First is a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization dedicated to building respect for human rights and the rule of law.Through our research and advocacy, Human Rights First has been at the forefront of efforts to ensure that the rule of law is protected in the post-September 11 environment.
We Can End Torture Now is a nonpartisan campaign to make sure that President-elect Obama and his administration put an end to policies allowing torture and cruel treatment and adopt a strong national security policy that is consistent with the laws and values of our nation. During the 2008 election, we worked to educate all candidates on the importance of humane interrogation and detainee treatment policies. We also launched a petition, signed by more than 65,000 people, calling on the candidates to stand strong for human rights. Demonstrating a nonpartisan consensus against torture and abuse, both parties' nominees, Senator Obama and Senator McCain, agreed that ending torture by the U.S. government would be a priority if elected. Now that the election is over, we must ensure that campaign promises are backed up with firm and swift action.
Goal: We Can End Torture Now is calling on President-elect Obama to:
- Put an end to torture and ensure a single standard of humane treatment for all interrogations conducted by U.S. personnel -- including by the CIA and private contractors.
- Halt the "extraordinary rendition" of detainees to countries known to torture prisoners.
- Close Guantanamo and try detainees suspected of committing crimes in accordance with international and U.S. law in U.S. Federal Courts
- Urge Congress to restore the right of habeas corpus to non-citizens – including longtime permanent residents of the U.S. – to ensure that courts can oversee the decision to detain anyone as an "unlawful enemy combatant."
- Ensure that trials of detainees are full and fair. Any trials by military commissions will be conducted consistent with the Uniform Code of Military Justice and in compliance with the procedures set forth in the Manual for Courts-Martial.