November 2015


 November 24, 2015

Rare White House Accord With The Koch Brothers Frays

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 November 21, 2015

Obama cannot go it alone on Guantanamo

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 November 9, 2015   

For Congress, Guantanamo closure plan might come too late

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 November 5, 2015

More than a decade after release, they all come back

 This is an important article on the deleterious effects of solitary confinement

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October 31, 2015
This week the United States released two prisoners from Guantanamo prison.  On Wednesday, the United States military released Ahmed Ould Abd al Aziz, 45, who was among the least known detainees.  He spent more than 13 years in U.S. military custody and was never charged with a crime.   On Friday, Shaker Aamer, was released and flown to London.  Mr. Aamer is both a British and Saudi citizen.  His family lives in London.  Interfaith Action for Human Rights has pressed for Mr. Aamer's release for many years.   You can read more about Mr. Aamer at the bottom of this page.   You can read two press accounts of the release of al Aziz and Aamer.  In addition, we have posted a recent article on Guantanamo written by Bonnie Tamres-Moore, a member of the IAHR Board.
October 31, 2015  

Shaker Aamer Is Released From Guantánamo Prison After 13 Years

 

October 29, 2015  
The Miami Herald

U.S. repatriates long-cleared Guantánamo detainee to Africa

 

October 13, 2015
The Washington Spectator

THE TORTURED HISTORY OF GUANTÁNAMO

This article was written by Bonnie Tamres-Moore who is a member of the IAHR Board.   

 

October 12, 2015


Former Rikers Mental Health Chief to Discuss Solitary Confinement, Prison Reform

Next Tues. and Wed. in Baltimore and D.C.:  Interfaith Action for Human Rights Presents

“Reflections of a Mental Health Chief in a Solitary Confinement Unit”

Mary E. Buser, author, advocate and clinical social worker, will speak in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., next week to give a behind-the-scenes look at Rikers Island, New York City's notorious jail complex on the East River. Through her firsthand account as assistant chief in the Rikers Island Mental Health Department, she will discuss prison reform; specifically abuse, injustice and solitary confinement. 

 

Buser will join Interfaith Action for Human Rights on Tuesday, October 20, in Baltimore and Wednesday, October 21, in Takoma Park, MD for Reflections of a Mental Health Chief in a Solitary Confinement Unit, a discussion based on her memoir, Lockdown on Rikers: Shocking Stories of Abuse and Injustice at New York City’s Notorious Jail, which gives an inside look at Rikers.  For more information about time and place click here

 

October 1, 2015

OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA, URGING FOLLOW UP ON SOLITARY CONFINEMENT ACTION

IAHR is a signatory to the letter

 

September 25, 2015 

Shaker Aamer Will Be Going Home

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter has notified Congress that he has approved sending a high-profile detainee at the Guantánamo Bay prison to Britain, a move that will ease a point of diplomatic tension between the United States and a close ally.
The detainee, Shaker Aamer, is a Saudi citizen but was a longtime British resident. Prime Minister David Cameron; members of Parliament, including Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of the Labour Party; and various British celebrities, like the musicians Roger Waters, Peter Gabriel and Sting, have put increasing public and diplomatic pressure on the Obama administration to transfer Mr. Aamer.  Click Here for the rest of the article.

 

 

On Sunday, September 20, 2015, the  editors of the NY Times devote the entire editorial page to closing Guantanamo!

How To Close Guantanamo

 The Atlantic published in its October 2015 issue an important article by Ta-Nehisi Coates on mass incarceration.  The article picks up a theme that Michelle Alexander has stressed.  Namely, there must be radical changes in the way we think of the problem.   Here is the article:

The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration

 September 14, 2015  

 

Virginia Has Solitary Confinement Case, if Justices Want It

 September 10, 2015

TPM LIVEWIRE

How Donald Trump Threatens To Blow Up Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform

September 10, 2015

VICE NEWS

Tequila, Painted Pearls, and Prada: How the CIA Helped Produce 'Zero Dark Thirty'

 September 2, 2015

In perhaps the biggest news in a very newsworthy week, the NY Times reported that the Association of State Correctional Administrators has recommended limits on the use of solitary confinement!   Here is a link to the full report: Time-In-Cell: The ASCA-Liman 2014 National Survey of Administrative Segregation in Prison

 September 1, 2015 

California Agrees to Overhaul Solitary Confinement

Here are links to six articles on the California Court Settlement:  
Solitary Watch  Los Angeles Times  NY Times Editorial  The Atlantic 

Washington Post Editorial    New York Review of Books 

August 26, 2015

Report Blasts Conditions at District of Columbia Jail

 

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First part of a three part series:

How Solitary Confinement Became Hardwired In U.S. Prisons

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 Second Part of a three part series:  

Amid Backlash Against Isolating Inmates, New Mexico Moves Toward Change

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August 21, 2015:  

It looks like the reform of solitary may be on the agenda of Secretary Moyer

Maryland Politics

The man who shut the troubled men’s jail in Baltimore has a lot more on his agenda 

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"A disgrace in Baltimore, discontinuedsupports legislation that IAHR has pending in the Maryland Legislature

 

Solitary Confinement: Punished for Life

 

 THE BALTIMORE SUN-July 30, 2015

Gov. Hogan announces `immediate' closure of Baltimore jail

 

Two Important Articles: One by John Pfaff on sentencing reform, the other a news article about possible sentencing reform in Congress

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For true penal reform, focus on the violent offenders

Bypartisan Push Builds to Relax Sentencing Laws 

MSNBC

Obama is trying to close Guantanamo again. Will this time be different?

 

 THE BALTIMORE SUN

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

 

Critics of Solitary Confinement Buoyed as Obama Embraces Cause

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Read this news article featuring Interfaith Action for Human Rights. Then read President Suzanne OHatnick's letter to the editor

How Many Maryland Prisoners Are In Isolated Confinement?  It is Hard to Say

NBC NEWS
 
JUL 14 2015, 9:16 PM ET

Obama Calls for Major Criminal Justice Reforms

 

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How Parole Boards Keep Prisoners in the Dark and Behind Bars

Outside Psychologists Shielded U.S. Torture Program, Report Finds

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Rabbi Feinberg’s letter to the Editor regarding Solitary Confinement in Maryland: 

 

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Read the July 2, 2015 editorial by the Washington Post

"A much-needed wake-up call on solitary confinement"

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Prison Revolt: A Former Law-and-Order Conservative Takes a Lead on Criminal Justice Reform 

 

Logo.pngSee this link at the Huffington Post for a Long List of Articles on the Misuse of Solitary Confinement

 

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IAHR Member Speaks to Media about Eid for Equality Campaign in Maryland

 

 


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  The Department of Defense races to re-settle Guantanamo detainees before Congress can block the action.

  Read here for more information. 

  

Logo.pngRead IAHR Board member Gay Gardner's letter in the Washington Post about the CIA Torture Report.   And her more recent one here.

 

 


Why Hasn't the Justice Department Read the Senate Torture Report?

At the end of 2014, the Senate Intelligence Committee finalized its more than 6,00-page report on the CIA torture program and published a redacted summary.  The summary describes depraved and brutal acts that are both immoral and illegal, including waterboarding, "rectal rehydration," threats of sexual abuse, standing sleep deprivation, ice water "baths," and more.  The Justice Department (DOJ) has the full report but has stated on the one hand that no one at the department has even opened it and on the other hand that nothing in the report warranted reopening the criminal investigation into CIA torture.

Please call Attorney General Loretta Lynch at 202-514-2001 (then press 1).  Ask her to read the Senate torture report and re-open the criminal investigation into CIA torture.  Here is a sample script:

Hello, my name is ____.  I am calling from [location] to express my concern about the Department of Justice's apparent intention not to even read the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on CIA torture.  The executive summary of the report describes depraved and brutal acts that are shocking to me as an American and a person of faith.  Turning a blind eye to this documentation makes a mockery of the very name of the Department of Justice.  I urge you to order a review of the Senate torture report and potential violations of law.  The U.S. is required under domestic and international law to bring to justice those responsible for torture and enforced disappearance.

THANK YOU, LITTLE RIVER UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST!

Congregants at Little River UCC in Annandale, VA, gathered on Sunday, June 21, to mark Torture Awareness Month by signing letters to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, urging her to read the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the CIA torture program and reopen the criminal investigation of the brutal acts it documents.  The letters pointed out that the declassified executive summary of the report, by itself, provides ample evidence of serious crimes and that, if the administration turns a blind eye to the evidence and sweeps the report's findings under the rug, it is leaving open the possibility that a future administration will again turn to torture as a policy choice.  

Forty-five letters to the Justice Department were gathered.  A special insert was included in the church bulletin that day, explaining the history of Torture Awareness Month and its significance for people of faith.  During the worship service, the congregation was updated on the status of the Senate torture report and the administration's contradictory statements about whether it had even read the report.  During the letter-signing activity, a portion of the PBS Frontline program called "Secrets, Politics, and Torture" was shown, and all were encouraged to view the full documentary on the PBS website.

Read "Partnership and Tolerance over Partisanship" by Zainab Chaudry in The Baltimore Sun.


 Logo.png Read "Drone Warfare" by Rabbi Charles Feinberg in The Jewish Week.


 enate.pngGuantanamo Detainee's Diary validates torture described in torture report. Shows it was more systemic and brutal.


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Close Guantanamo Rally, January 11, 2015

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   Zainab Chaudry speaks at the Interfaith Prayer Vigil        

 

 

 


 Other Recent News

November 2014

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Congratulations to our IAHR members who had three editorials published in the past two weeks:

Anti-Torture

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Read IAHR Blog  "Celebrating the Power of One'" about how one person can make a difference  (e.g., The Anti-Torture Banner Project)

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Watch the "Make Guantanamo History" demonstration at the Smithsonian Museum of National History

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYPdfIasyGE

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Solitary Confinement

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IAHR member mentioned in campaign by Social Workers to reduce Solitary Confinement

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 IAHR provides support to Washington Post's editorial on Solitary Confinement:


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