Rabbis to join anti-torture day


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rabbis for Human Rights-North America will join a national appeal to President-elect Barack Obama to order an end to torture.

The group will participate in the National Religious Campaign Against Torture’s “Day of Witness” on Wednesday, which will include banner processions and speeches in front of the White House and meetings in the U.S. Congress with lawmakers or their aides.

The appeal calls on Obama to issue an executive order as soon as he assumes the presidency that would universally apply the U.S. Army Field Manual guidelines for interrogation and to end the transfer of detainees to nations that practice torture.

The Bush administration has acknowledged questioning suspects using waterboarding, a technique that simulates drowning that experts define as torture. It has also surrendered suspects to countries with poor human rights records.

“Representing a broad consensus of the Jewish community, in consonance with world opinion and with the teachings of Jewish tradition in every age, we call for a complete repudiation and prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment for any purpose, in any instance,” said a statement from Rabbis for Human Rights-North America.

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