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Home About Us Prisoners of Conscience Articles Burlington, Iowa Resident Among 51 Human Rights Activists Facing Federal Trial for Moral Civil Disobedience at School of the Americas
Burlington, Iowa Resident Among 51 Human Rights Activists Facing Federal Trial for Moral Civil Disobedience at School of the Americas PDF Print E-mail


December 3, 2003
For Immediate Release
Local Contact: Scott P. Diehl @ 319-752-4700, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
SOA Watch Contact: Matthew Smucker, 202-903-7257, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Burlington, Iowa resident, Scott P. Diehl, Founder of the non-profit, spiritually-based education Foundation, God Bless The World @ www.godblesstheworld.us is among 51 human rights advocates going to federal court on Monday, January 26th, 2004 for peaceful, non-violent, moral civil disobedience at the School of the Americas (renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) in Columbus, Georgia at Fort Benning Military Base. The defendants were among 10,000 who gathered in November to expose a double standard in the ?war on terrorism?, and to call for the closure of the SOA/WHISC. The defendants, which included veterans, priests and nuns peacefully crossed onto Ft. Benning, the site of the murderous school. They are charged with trespass and face up to six months in federal prison and $5,000 in fines.

Scott P. Diehl is a professionally trained peacemaker and human rights worker. Earlier this year he went on three peace missions to foreign countries. In February, Scott was in IRAQ to be in solidarity with the poor and oppressed, innocent Iraqi citizens, and reported back in several speaking tours around the country that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction! In May, Diehl went to Colombia to protect the poor and displaced villagers along the Magdalena and Opon Rivers, where para-militaries receive funding from the US and kill innocent Colombians in the thousands. It is a counter-insurgency war against the poor, not a ?war on drugs?! In June, Mr. Diehl went to a native indigenous tribe in Northern Ontario. He went to help coordinate road blocks, so loggers could not clear-cut the Anishinabe tribe?s traditional land-use area. The Canadian government has broken the Treaty with the Indians.

?Those who speak out for the poor and oppressed, God?s most precious children, are facing prison time while SOA-trained torturers and assassins are operating with impunity,? stated Scott.

The SOA/WHISC is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers. Its graduates are consistently involved in human rights abuses and atrocities. In 1996 the Pentagon was forced to release training manuals used at the school that advocated the use of torture, extortion and execution.

In a new report, Amnesty International calls for a suspension of training at the SOA/WHISC, and an independent commission of inquiry to investigate the school. Amnesty refutes the claim that the WHISC is a new institution, stating that WHISC ?is essentially the same school as SOA, with the same primary mission??

?Our country talks tough about the war on terrorism and bombs poor and defenseless countries, yet right here on American soil, we have a school which trains terrorists,? Diehl said.

SOA Watch works to stand in solidarity with people of Latin America, to change oppressive and immoral US Foreign policy, and to close down SOA/WHISC permanently.
 

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