“As torture continues to haunt the waking hours of its victims long after the conflict has passed, so it will continue to haunt its perpetrators.”


Nobel Laureates Say No to Torture

14 Nobel laureates sent a message to Obama about torture. The New York Times covered it. Obama responded.

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.

Twelve 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 from twelve Nobel laureates on the US torture program, 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.

Producers : José Ramos-Horta, Mary Wald, Bonnie Abaunza

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, Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo, Betty Williams, Adolfo Peres Esquivel.