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“Torture Free” Resolution Passes Committee

January 13, 2012

Thanks to all who attended the press conference and hearing on Thursday, January 12, particularly all those who spoke.

Speakers at the press conference and/or the hearing included U.S. Congressman Danny Davis; Alderman Joe Moore; Attorney Flint Taylor; University of Chicago Professor Adam Green; DePaul University Professor of Law Cherif Bassiouni; Debra Erenberg, Midwest Regional Director of Amnesty International; Mary Lynn Everson, Kovler Center; Sister Benita Coffey; and Mario Venegas, Chilean survivor of torture. Mary L. Johnson, whose son was tortured by Police Commander Jon Burge, delivered impassioned testimony. A group of Black and Latina mothers held pictures of their sons who Burge or his officers had tortured to visibly rebuke the City of Chicago for allowing their loved ones to be tortured.

Melinda Power, a member of ICAT, presented petitions supporting the resolution that over 3,500 people from Chicago, across the United States, and Latin America and Europe had signed.

The resolution was approved by the Committee on Human Relations and the City Council vote is on Wednesday, January 18.

Here are links to press coverage of the hearing:

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/01/12/aldermen-discuss-making-chicago-a-torture-free-zone/

http://inthesetimes.com/ittlist/entry/12529/chicago_city_council_holds_anti-torture_hearings/

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=198382

After the vote, it will be up to us to make sure that the City Council and the City of Chicago follow through on the resolution!  We really hope that other cities follow suit and we will help you in any way we can to do so!

Thank you all!

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