In the contemporary debate over the acceptability of torture as an investigative tool, we must consider carefully the arguments advanced for and against its use in our present day society where we struggle with understanding the extremism and barbarous character of those who use terrorism as weapons of devastation and fear.
America must continue to serve as a beacon of light and morality. Moreover the plethora of rabbinic sources which emphasize k’vod habriot, the importance of human dignity, testifies to the Jewish reverence and respect for human beings, God’s own crown of creation.
Women’s League for Conservative Judaism urges our government to:
- Condemn the practice of torture and affirm the values and legal definitions set forth in the Geneva Convention and the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading Punishments for prisoners;
- Cease the practice of sending criminal suspects to other countries, specifically to those that sanction using torture during interrogations, generally without judicial processing.
- Support the principle of allowing all prisoners, including enemy combatants, the rights enumerated in the Geneva Convention, including the right to be visited by the International Committee of the Red Cross;
- Examine past practices and ensure that future interrogations by military and intelligence agencies are in harmony with those sanctioned by international conventions.