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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 9, 2009
3:14 PM

Rights Group Hails Senator Leahy's Call for Independent Inquiry into Post-9/11 Abuses

WASHINGTON - February 9 - In a lecture this morning at Georgetown University, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy rightly called for an independent inquiry into post-9/11 abuses, including abusive detention and interrogation practices. Senator Leahy asserted that the inquiry should be comprised of individuals who are universally recognized as fair-minded and that its primary purpose should be to find out the full truth.

"If adopted, Senator Leahy's proposal would help to ensure that the United States learns the right lessons from past mistakes," stated Elisa Massimino, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Human Rights First. "A comprehensive and independent inquiry is essential to determining how the U.S. government came to adopt policies of official cruelty and arbitrary detention, the strategic costs of such policies to our national security, and how we can best guard against such abuses in the future."

Human Rights First called for nonpartisan commission to investigate the facts and circumstances relating to U.S. government detention and interrogation operations since September 11, 2001 in its publication How to End Torture and Cruel Treatment: Blueprint for the Next Administration available at http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/pdf/etn-end-torture-blueprint.pdf.
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Human Rights First is a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization based in New York and Washington D.C. Human Rights First believes that building respect for human rights and the rule of law will help ensure the dignity to which every individual is entitled and will stem tyranny, extremism, intolerance, and violence.


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