Friday News Clippings

We have mostly been focused on our own news this week, as we announced earlier today – our Declaration on Poverty and Torture we hope will change the way states and international bodies look at this problem. Also in the news this week:

Manfred Nowak, the former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and the IRCT Patron, was interviewed by the Pakistan Daily Times in a Q&A session. We suggest reading the whole interview, but here are some highlights:

So, I think, torture is practiced in more than 90% of all countries in all regions of the world; big or small, dictatorship or democracy. I would say that in more than half the countries of the world, torture is widespread, or even systematic. And that is a very, very negative and disturbing conclusion. 

President Bush and his administration have paid the world a very, very negative service by undermining the absolute prohibition of torture. I spoke to very high level officials in other countries and they say that if America is torturing openly, why shouldn’t we?

It’s the same with death penalty, there are always people who argue that death penalty has a deterrent effect, no, it’s the opposite, and it has a brutalising effect.

Human Rights Watch chronicles widespread abuses and torture from the military and police officers in the drug war. Their conclusion?

…Found evidence that strongly suggests the participation of security forces in more than 170 cases of torture, 39 “disappearances,” and 24 extrajudicial killings since Calderón took office in December 2006.

The UN Committee against Torture hears reports from Sri Lanka (which was particularly damning), Germany, Bulgaria, and Madagascar

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