The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Brenda Bowser Soder,,O -202/370-3323, C - 301/906-4460

Human Rights First Submits Statement Calling for Nonpartisan Inquiry into Post 9/11 Abuses


Today Human Rights First submitted a statement for the record to the
Senate Judiciary Committee calling for the establishment of an
independent commission to examine post-9/11 abuses, including abusive
detention and interrogation practices, and their consequences for
national security. The Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing this
morning on "Getting to the Truth through a Nonpartisan Commission of
Inquiry" to consider the proposal.

In the submitted statement, Elisa Massimino, Chief Executive Officer
and Executive Director of Human Rights First asserts: "Work remains to
be done to ensure that this administration and future administrations
do not repeat past mistakes. Providing policymakers and the public with
a clear picture of past policies and practices and their consequences
for national security is essential to inoculate against future abuses
and to inform responsible forward looking policies."

To read the full statement Click Here.

In October 2008, Human Rights First released a blueprint How to End Torture and Cruel Treatment
recommending that President Obama support the establishment of a
nonpartisan commission, modeled on the 9/11 Commission, to examine the
facts and circumstances relating to U.S. government detention and
interrogation operations since September 11, 2001; assess the strategic
impact of these operations; identify lessons learned; make
recommendations to avoid future abuses; and make its findings public.

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.