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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One Response to “Libya: When yesterday’s rebels become today’s torturers”

  1. sudhan Says:

    Thanks to Rupen Savoulian for informing us about the UN conventions (CAT) against the use of torture and all other forms of anti-human abuse of prisoners. Some international organisations work and inform about torture and physical abuse of prisoners and detainees. Occasionally the main stream media also pick up some prominent story but otherwise the general practice of regular torture and abuse of prisoners that takes place in many parts of the world is not considered worthy of attention.

    The torture and abuse of many types of prisoners and dissenters is a general norm in many parts of the world, especially in, Asian, African, Latin American and East European countries. Let us hope that other political activists will also concentrate on the question of torture and thus strengthen those organisations and agencies that work against the use of torture and defend human rights.

    The case of Libya illustrates how the victimisation and large scale torture is being practised in various places by the NTC. This has to stop and human rights activists have a big task before them.


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