Amnesty International has launched its global Stop Torture campaign ahead of today’s UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The human rights organisation says torture is flourishing, despite a 30-year global ban.
In the last five years, Amnesty has recorded torture and other forms of ill-treatment in at least 141 countries from every region of the world but the secretive nature of torture means the true number is likely to be even higher.
Commenting George, said:
“Torture has no place in society, full stop. Since the inception of the United Nations’ Convention Against Torture, 155 countries have signed up to it, however, torture or ill-treatment has been reported in 141 countries over the past 5 years.
‘We do not recognise torture as a form of punishment in Scotland and we should do all we can to work with developing nations to convey a strong message that torture is never justifiable and is prohibited by international law.
‘That is why I’m supporting the Stop Torture Global Day of Action and doing my bit, highlighting the plight of all the people across the world who to this day still continue to be the victims of torture.”
Siobhan Reardon, Amnesty Scotland’s Programme Director, said:
“Thirty years ago 151 countries signed up to the UN Convention Against Torture, but since then we have seen a steady decline in almost every one of those countries and today torture is flourishing. Governments hold up the convention in one hand whilst sanctioning horrendous acts of brutality against their own people, with the other.
“Torture has been used against people in the name of national security. It has been used to silence dissidents and political rivals. It has even been used against schoolchildren. In some countries, torture is routine, while in others cases of abuse are isolated and exceptional. However, just one case of torture or ill-treatment is not only prohibited by international law, it is completely unacceptable.
“Amnesty International has been at the forefront of the campaign to eradicate torture for fifty years and although achieving the Convention Against Torture in 1984 was an important milestone, we need a global campaign to end torture more than ever.
“Today is the Stop Torture Global Day of Action and we are asking everyone in Scotland to speak out on behalf of all those who have been tortured – and are being tortured right now. Torture is never justifiable and should never be used by any government for any reason.”