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On Indefinite Detention & Guantanamo

For Immediate Release: November 16, 2011
Contact: Samantha Friedman, office: (202) 265-3000 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

A Plea to Affirm American Values, Not American Fears
People of faith speak out against Congressional action to codify indefinite detention and to keep Guantanamo open

Washington, D.C. – In response to the most recent version of detainee provisions in the Senate fiscal year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, released this statement:

“Imprisoning someone for years at a time, without trial or a set prison term, is a morally troubling thing to do.  Yet, during the past decade, our government has done just that.  This week, for the second time, the Senate Armed Services Committee has moved to endow this practice with the Congressional seal of approval by advancing legislation – included in the National Defense Authorization Act – that would explicitly give the government the authority to use indefinite detention.  This is a mistake.

Additionally, the legislation passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee includes provisions that would make it more difficult to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay – an enduring symbol of torture and abuse.

Our leaders should act to advance American values.  This version of the National Defense Authorization Act does not do that.  As people of faith, we hope that the full Senate does not follow the Armed Services Committee’s lead.  Our Senators should represent and advance American values, not American fears.”

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