Is Torture Still Illegal?
Torture is a brutal attempt to destroy a person’s sense of dignity and sense of human worth. It acts also as a weapon of war, spreading terror beyond its direct victims to communities and societies.
States must take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under their jurisdiction. There are no exceptional circumstances whatsoever — whether a state of war, or a threat of war, internal political instability, or any other public emergency or national security situation. States’ obligations also include the duty to provide effective and prompt redress, compensation and rehabilitation for all torture victims.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, 26 June 2012
And yet in today’s Guardian we read: “Detainees who claimed they had been tortured were treated dismissively by officers at Dover immigration removal centre, prisons inspectors have said. Reports by officers at the Kent centre lacked photographs, body maps and judgements on whether scarring matched alleged abuse, inspectors found.”
Compare this response to how government officials act on terrorism and organised crime, yet torture is illegal in any circumstances under international law. The UK Government’s attitudes are disgusting and illegal under law.
Click here to see this blog’s author discuss the issue in a debate at Coventry University.