King, Collins thanked for sponsoring anti-torture amendment

King, Collins thanked for sponsoring anti-torture amendment

Members and staff of the Maine People’s Alliance (MPA) visited the offices of Senator Angus King in Scarborough and Senator Susan Collins in Bangor today to hand-deliver 200 messages from constituents across the state thanking them for sponsoring a recently-passed amendment to outlaw the use of torture by American personnel.

“Thank you for standing on the side of humanity and for humane treatment of all prisoners, including our service men and women who are at risk in other countries,” said Jarryl Larson of Edgecomb in one of the written messages.

A representative of Senator Susan Collins receives notes of thanks for her sponsorship of the anti-torture amendment at her constituent office in Bangor.

A representative of Senator Susan Collins receives notes of thanks at her constituent office in Bangor.

The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, passed 78-21 in the Senate and is likely to become law. It prevents the government from engaging in waterboarding and other so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” not authorized by the Army Field Manual.

“I witnessed conditions that violate every possible aspect of human rights at Guantanamo. That was one of the reasons that caused me to not re-enlist in the Army,” said Mark Matherne, an MPA field organizer and former prison guard at Camp X-Ray, who helped to deliver the messages of thanks to Collins’ office in Bangor. “I’m grateful that that these human rights violations will not be forgotten or forgiven.”

In Scarborough, participants also wished King good luck and good health as he undergoes treatment this week for prostate cancer.

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