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Hon. Alcee L. Hastings, Chairman
Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
December 4, 2007


(Washington, D.C.) Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Co-Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) will hold a field hearing on Monday, December 10 at the University of Maryland in College Park from 10am-12noon. The hearing, “Is it torture yet?” will examine what constitutes torture or other forms of prohibited ill-treatment, what legal norms apply, and what is known about the effectiveness of various interrogation methods. Joining Co-Chairman Cardin at the hearing will be Helsinki Commission Chairman, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL).

Co-Chairman Cardin, who also is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired part of the October confirmation hearing for Attorney General Michael Mukasey, during which the administration’s views on what is or is not torture were extensively debated.

WHAT: “Is it Torture Yet?” - Field Hearing on Torture
WHO: Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings, and leading experts
WHEN: Monday, December 10, 2007 – 10am-12noon
WHERE: University of Maryland, College Park Campus, Stamp Student Union – The Atrium (Building located on Campus Drive)

Scheduled witnesses include (updated):

Ms. Devon Chaffee – Associate Attorney, Human Rights First. Ms. Devon was a contributing author of the publication issued jointly by Human Rights First and Physicians for Human Rights, Leave No Marks: Enhanced Interrogation Techniques and the Risk of Criminality (2007).

Dr. Thomas C. Hilde – School of Public Policy, University of Maryland. Dr. Hilde is the editor a forthcoming book, On Torture (2008).

Dr. Christian Davenport – Professor of Political Science, University of Maryland-College Park, and Senior Fellow and Director of Research at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management. Dr. Davenport’s research includes the relationship between democracy and human rights.

Mr. Malcom Nance – Director, Special Readiness Services International; Director, International Anti-Terrorism Center for Excellence. Nance is a 20-year veteran of the U.S. intelligence community’s “Combating Terrorism” program.

The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, is a U.S. Government agency that monitors progress in the implementation of the provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. The Commission consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.

Media Contact: Lale Mamaux
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