Torturing Democracy: Community Organizations

Here is information on organizations engaged in a range of activities on the issue of torture.

American Civil Liberties Union
The nation’s largest public interest law firm, the American Civil Liberties Union works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and U.S. laws.  The ACLU filed a landmark FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Defense and other federal agencies that has resulted in the release of thousands of documents – which continues to this day – regarding detention and interrogation policies.


Enduring Abuse: Torture and Cruel Treatment by the United States at Home and Abroad


American Constitution Society
The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy is a non-partisan educational organization comprised of a network of lawyers, law students, scholars, judges and policymakers.  ACS has addressed the legal implications of matters such as torture and restrictions on habeas corpus.


Guantanamo is Here: The Military Commissions Act and Noncitizen Vulnerability


Amnesty International
Amnesty International is a movement of people across more than 150 countries who campaign for internationally recognized human rights.  AI’s human rights campaigns include Countering Terror with Justice and Detention and Imprisonment.


USA: Guantánamo and beyond: The continuing pursuit of unchecked executive power

USA: Cruel and Inhuman: Conditions of isolation for detainees at Guantanamo Bay

USA: Rendition - torture - trial? : The case of Guantanamo detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi


Cageprisoners is a human rights organization created to raise awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere in the “war on terror.”  The organization, launched in October 2003, has the backing of both Muslim and non-Muslim lawyers, activists, former detainees, families of prisoners and academics. 


Citizens No More: ‘War on Terror’ Abuses in Bosnia and Herzegovina


Center for Constitutional Rights
Founded in 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights is a legal advocacy group dedicated to advancing and protecting rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.   CCR has coordinated more than 500 attorneys who have worked pro bono defending prisoners in custody at Guantanamo, in proceedings that have placed thousands of pages of documents on the public record.


Profiles of Guantanamo Refugees

Guantánamo: Six Years Later

The Torture of Mohammed Al Qahtani

a. Declaration of Gitanjali S. Gutierrez, Esq., Lawyer for Mohammed al Qahtani
b. Interrogation Log

The Military Commissions Act of 2006

Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment of Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay

Report: Tipton Three Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay

Report: Guantanamo and Its Aftermath (UC Berkeley & C.C.R.)


Center on Law and Security at New York University
Founded in 2003, the Center on Law and Security is an independent, non-partisan center designed to promote an informed understanding of major legal and security issues that have defined the post-9/11 environment.  Policymakers, practitioners, scholars, journalists and other experts are brought together to address major issues and provide concrete policy recommendations.


Terrorist Trials, September 11, 2001-April 1, 2008


Center for Victims of Torture
The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization which provides services directly to torture survivors; trains health, education, and human services professionals; conducts research; and advocates for public policy initiatives.  It also operates healing centers in Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Human Rights First
Human Rights First seeks accountability for human rights violations while also working to protect people at risk: refugees who flee persecution, victims of crimes against humanity, victims of discrimination, those whose rights are eroded in the name of national security, and advocates who are targeted for defending the human rights of others. 


How to Close Guantanamo: Blueprint for the Next Administration

Tortured Justice: Using Coerced Evidence to Prosecute Terrorist Suspects

Command Responsibility: Detainee Deaths in U.S. Custody in Iraq and Afghanistan

Ending Secret Detentions

Arbitrary Justice: Trials of Bagram and Guantanamo Detainees in Afghanistan


Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch, an independent nongovernmental organization, is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world.  HRW challenges governments and those who hold power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law. 


Locked Up Alone:  Detention Conditions and Mental Health at Guantanamo

Double Jeopardy: CIA Renditions to Jordan


National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) is a growing membership organization committed to ending U.S.-sponsored cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.  Since its formation in January 2006, over 200 religious groups have become members. 


Physicians for Human Rights
Physicians for Human Rights mobilizes health professionals to advance health, dignity, and justice.  Harnessing the specialized skills of doctors, nurses, public health specialists, and scientists, PHR investigates human rights abuses.


Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by the US


Reprieve / UK office
Reprieve, founded by Clive Stafford Smith, is a legal action charity that uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners from death row to Guantanamo, where 30 prisoners are currently represented by the organization’s attorneys.   Reprieve is also investigating “extraordinary renditions” and secret prisons.  


The Forgotten Italian Residents In Guantanamo Bay

“Human Cargo:”  Binyam Mohamed and the Rendition Frequent Flier Programme


Torture Abolition and Survivor Support Coalition International
The Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC) is the only organization founded by and for torture survivors, and works to end the practice of torture wherever it occurs and to empower survivors, their families and communities wherever they are.