Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Libya: When yesterday’s rebels become today’s torturers

Rupen Savoulian, Antopodean Atheist,   Jan 30, 2011
 
The United Nations Convention against Torture (CAT), adopted back in 1984, specifies that no person should be subjected to any kind of torture, cruel or degrading treatment. This convention follows on from the 1975 adoption of the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Article One of the United Nations Convention Against Torture defines it as the intentional infliction of physical and mental pain for the purpose of obtaining information from a person, or coercing them into confessing to a crime, or forcing them to incriminate a third party to confess to any alleged crime that person may have committed. Such pain and suffering is inflicted with the express knowledge or tacit consent of a person or group acting in a legal and official capacity. Article Two states that there are no exceptional circumstances that may be invoked by any party to justify the application of torture. States of emergency, civil unrest, warfare and so on cannot be used as pretexts to legitimise the use of torture.

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