Dear Peacemakers (In the NC/US and no matter where you are you can call the appropriate officials to request that they seek the same rights for the ICRC--for general information, see the blog posting just below called "No more secret..")
Please urge Sen. Elizabeth Dole and Sen. Richard Burr to support access of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to all detainees under U.S. custody. The Senate is currently debating the 2009 Defense Authorization bill, and one of the pending amendments, Amendment 5369, would provide the ICRC such access to any detainee. This access by the ICRC would help end the use of torture and other abusive practices that violate international law.
Please call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to speak with each of your Senators' offices. Tell them that you would like the Senate to vote on Amendment Number 5369 to the FY 2009 Defense Authorization bill, and that you hope that they will support providing the International Committee of the Red Cross with access to all U.S.-held detainees.
Please express appreciation to Sen. Dole's office for her good work with the American Red Cross, and remind both Senators that providing the ICRC access to all our detainees and renouncing human rights violations is a core policy for advancing that same protection and access for our soldiers under combat conditions. If our government fails to adopt this policy, it is failing a fundamental responsibility to our citizens in uniform. This reality reflects an intersection of politics and spirituality in "the golden rule" -- if we fail to treat prisoners in our custody as we would want our own soldiers to be treated, we condemn our own soldiers to greater risks.
Please call or email Senator Dole and Senator Burr TODAY! Do both even! This is a step toward restoring spiritual and moral integrity to our national identity in the world! The NC Council of Churches is working with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) to advocate for this. Fee free to reply or call me if you'd like more information about this measure, or to visit the NRCAT website linked above. The attached summary of goals from NRCAT may also be helpful, especially item number one.
Blessings and Peace,
Program Associate for Peace
North Carolina Council of Churches