What do you know about torture?

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Torture is when somebody in an official capacity inflicts severe mental or physical pain or suffering on somebody else for a specific purpose. Sometimes authorities torture a person to extract a confession for a crime, or to get information from them. Sometimes torture is simply used as a punishment that spreads fear in society.

Torture methods vary. They can be of a physical nature, like beatings and electric shocks. It can be of a sexual nature, like rape or sexual humiliation. Or they can be of a psychological nature, like sleep deprivation or prolonged solitary confinement.

Under international law, torture and other forms of ill-treatment are always illegal. They have been outlawed internationally for decades. To take just a couple of examples, 172 countries have adhered to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which prohibits torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and 165 countries are parties to the UN Convention against Torture which Amnesty International campaigned hard to create.

But many states have failed to criminalize torture as a specific offence under their national laws, and governments around the world continue to defy international law by torturing people. Between January 2009 and May 2013, Amnesty International received reports of torture in 141 countries, from every region of the world.

Torture can never be justified. It is barbaric and inhumane, and replaces the rule of law with terror. No one is safe when governments allow its use. 

Who does torture happen to?

High profile torture cases, such as the CIA secret detention programme around the world, have led to a common misconception that torture is generally confined to issues around national security and counter-terrorism.

But Amnesty’s research shows that it could happen to anyone – petty criminals, people from ethnic minorities, protesters, student activists, and people who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It is most often poor and marginalized people who get beaten, humiliated or raped by police and other officials when there is no one to protect them or hear their cries for help.

.Source: Amnesty International

To follow up on the cases that have been documented by the Access Center for Human Rights (ACHR) in Lebanon 2019, on cases of torture of Syrian refugees, please visit the link here

To report violations, you can visit the websit of ACHR

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