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Rumsfeld's Resignation Press Conference

Wednesday, May 12, 2004
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Event Type:
Press Conference
Code Pink Women for Peace
Location Details:
Masjid Dar El-Salam Mosque,
20 Jones St, San Francisco

Bay Area Religious and Human Rights Groups Call for Rumsfeld's Resignation: New national campaign and website

Masjid Dar El-Salam Mosque, 20 Jones St, San Francisco Wednesday, May 12, 11 a.m.

Rayan El-Amine, Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee; Medea Benjamin, Global Exchange; Samina Faheem, American Muslim Voice; Souleiman Ghali, Islamic Society of San Francisco; Rabbi Michael Lerner, Beyt Tikkun Synagogue; Van Jones, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

As leaders in the Bay Area religious and human rights community, we are outraged at the torture and extreme humiliation of Iraqi prisoners, at the
egregious violations of due process in US-run prisons from Guantanamo to Afghanistan to Iraq and the larger culture of illegal behavior that is
manifested by torture, indefinite detentions, collective punishment, the indiscriminate use of force, and the premise of guilty until proven

This culture of illegal behavior has been set at the highest level, and responsibility needs to be taken at the highest level. That is why we are coming together to call for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

"The soldiers who abused the Iraqi prisoners must be punished. But it is not enough to only castigate those low level soldiers, many of them reservists,
who physically committed the abuses," says Samina Faheem of American Muslim Voice. "In order to demonstrate to the world that the American people will not tolerate torture, accountability must reach all the way up the chain of command."

"The fundamental Biblical injunction to treat every human being as though s/he was an embodiment of the Image of God is being systematically violated
in our military prisons in Iraq and Guantanamo,” says Rabbi Lerner. “Jews, who have too often been the victims of torture throughout our history, are
particularly outraged that these practices continue in Iraq and are funded by our tax dollars.”

"It is Donald Rumsfeld’s responsibility to guarantee that the U.S. is abiding by the Geneva Conventions, and he has utterly failed to do so," says Medea Benjamin of the human rights group Global Exchange. "Apologies, although necessary, will fall flat if the international community does not
see that those at the highest rank are held responsible."

“With responsibility comes accountability,” says Souleiman Ghali, president of the Islamic Society of San Francisco. “It is time for Mr. Rumsfeld to put
the interests of America before his personal interests, and resign.”

The bay area groups are calling on members of the religious and human rights community around the country to join the call, and have launched a new

Added to the calendar on Tue, May 11, 2004 6:22PM
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