Friday, 22 February 2013

A summary of torture in the modern world

Torture has been a significant human rights issues since it's existence. History has used torture as a mechanism to prosecute the accused by obtaining confessions. Modern day has Universal law in place to stop States engaging in the use of torture. Modern day consists of advanced technology and science, helping State law enforcement agencies to track and prosecute defendants. However, the use of torture is still existent.

Modern day torture is used to defeat the 'War on Terror' allowing State agencies to use torture against individuals to confess to terrorism acts. From evidence adapted in the case of the 'Tipton Three' and reports published by Amnesty International, it has become evident that the West is using torture to prosecute innocent civilians of acts which they have no connection. The pressure of the West in defeating the war on terror has become so important that they are using such brutality to win.

Not only in cases of terrorism but also in every day life, torture has become an issue. The Independent has reported torture against children in Egypt (article dated Wednesday 20th February 2013). Approximately 400 children have been unlawfully detained during protests and tortured in Gabal Ahmar camp in eastern Cairo. Under dictatorship, torture tends to be used if an individual does not comply with the government rules.

This all comes down to the effectiveness of Universal binding law (Universal Declaration on Human Rights) which under Article 5 states "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" so why does it exist? Are dictators and elite States in the illusion that they are excluded from international law on torture?

This brings us to international law enforcement and punishment. The use of torture on one is prohibited in accordance to international laws and treaties. Yet little is done to eliminate torture within the international dimension and little is done to prosecute State leaders when evidence of torture under their regime comes to light. The UN highly condemns the use of torture but fails to eliminate the use.

I maybe wrong in saying that little is being done to eliminate the use of torture, it is not the job of NGO's to make States realise that they are violating ones human rights? But they should treat torture cases as they would a murder case. The level of seriousness of prosecuting and eliminating torture needs an increase, but how are States going to realise that no-one has to right to torture another???

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