In the annual membership meeting Friday, July 14, at its summer conference in Atlanta, Georgia, the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America (BPFNA) voted to endorse the statement of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, “Torture is a Moral Issue.”
Maintaining that all religions believe that torture violates the basic dignity of human beings, the statement calls for the US Congress and administration to prohibit five activities: exemptions from international human rights laws for any arm of the US government, the practice of extraordinary rendition (whereby suspects are apprehended and flown to countries that use torture as a means of interrogation), any disconnection from the ban against torture that would permit inhumane interrogation, the existence of secret US prisons around the world, and denial of Red Cross access to US detainees.
The statement also calls for an independent investigation of the severe human rights abuses at US installations like Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan.
The BPFNA held its annual caucus during its 21st Summer Conference in Atlanta. As of early July, over 1,400 religious leaders had endorsed the statement. For more information about the Religious Campaign Against Torture, go to www.nrcat.org