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No More Guantanamos
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2011
 
CONTACT:

Nancy Talanian, Executive Director, No More Guantanamos, 413-665-1150, ntalanian@nogitmos.org

Local Governments Issue Proclamations for June 26, International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

 
Whately, Mass. Northampton Mayor Mary Clare Higgins and the Whately Select Board, both in Massachusetts, have issued proclamations recognizing June 26, 2011, as United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The Amherst (Mass.) Select Board will vote on a proposed proclamation on Monday, and residents of Chicago, IL, and Berkeley, CA, have also asked their local governments to recognize the day.
 
Members of Pioneer Valley No More Guantánamos (PVNMG), who organized the efforts in western Mass., note that the day observing the June 26, 1987, adoption of the Convention Against Torture has significance for Americans post 9/11. As the proclamation states, “incidents of torture and degrading practices perpetrated by or on behalf of the United States government have been documented in Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and elsewhere.”
 
“It is hard for many Americans to accept the fact that our own government has tortured detainees and subjected them to cruel and degrading treatment,” said Nancy Talanian, head of No More Guantánamos, who drafted the proclamation. “But unless we recognize that it happened, and that it degrades not only the victims but the perpetrators, the policymakers, and those whom they represent, we risk it happening again and again.”
 
No More Guantánamos [http://www.nogitmos.org] is a coalition of concerned U.S. residents, organizations, and attorneys who are working together to ensure justice for the prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Bagram air base in Afghanistan, and other offshore prison sites maintained by the CIA and the Pentagon around the world. It works to ensure basic human rights for all prisoners, including the right to be either charged for crimes and tried or released, in accordance with international law, and not held indefinitely, and to find homes for prisoners who cannot return home. Its Pioneer Valley chapter is one of eleven nationwide.
 
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