(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Steven W. Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement in July 2014 in response to the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling to allow former Chicago police commander Jon Burge to keep his pension despite his 2010 conviction for lying about the torture of suspects:
“Former Police Commander Jon Burge gets to keep his pension, yet the survivors of police torture under his command are still waiting for full reparations.
“Amnesty International USA urges the Chicago City Council to ensure the rights of survivors tortured under Burge’s watch by passing the reparations ordinance. In the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King: ‘Justice delayed is justice denied.’
“Just last week, members of Amnesty International USA marched to Chicago’s City Hall to honor the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture and demand reparations for survivors of torture at the hands of Chicago Police from 1972-1991.
“The Jon Burge case is clear evidence that torture can and does happens in our own backyard. The United States cannot be an effective advocate against the use of torture elsewhere in the world when we still have individuals who have yet to receive reparations for being tortured at the hands of U.S. authorities.”
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million members in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.