Nobel Laureates Say No to Torture
In October 2014, the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) had prepared a report detailing the use of torture by the US. The Executive Summary of the report, instead of being released to the public, was being passed between the CIA and the White House. A version that was “approved for release” was so redacted it was virtually impossible to ascertain the meaning of the report.
Senator Feinstein, Chair of the SSCI, had returned the report to the White House objecting that with the redactions the substance of the report was indecipherable. And there it had stalled.
Eleven Nobel laureates signed an open letter to President Barrack Obama, initiated by The Community in co-ordination with ACLU, and released on The Community. The letter urged Obama to release the report, and for the US to learn the lessons from this dark chapter in its history, and to take the steps needed to ensure that it could not reoccur.
When The Community issued the letter the story was on the front page of the New York Times, as well as the front page of the Huffington Post. It was covered by the Telegraph, Al Jazeera, Human Rights Watch, the Daily Beast, and others around the world.
The President responded. The report was released.
Date : October 2014
Photography : Doug Knutson
Participants : José Ramos-Horta, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mohamed ElBaradei, Leymah Gbowee, Muhammad Yunus, F.W. De Klerk, Oscar Arias Sanchéz, John Hume, Jody Williams, Betty Williams, Adolfo Peres Esquivel.