Parallel to the extremely notorious cases of mass torture in Libya and Bahrain, torture continues to be practiced under the “usual” conditions around the world. Radio France Internationale reports police torture in Nigeria. The article points out two common patterns of torture as practiced in everyday life: firstly, that police in several countries are “under intense pressure from the government and the public to deliver. This means they sometimes resort to using crude tactics to get results.” A similar story came to us from Pakistan (see Police brutally torture youth, break hands, legs). Secondly, this is happening above all in countries where a large part of the population lives in poverty. This important aspect has been underlined in the recent Declaration on Poverty and Torture issued by the IRCT Council. In fact, poverty is one of the major underlying factors that keeps people perpetually vulnerable to torture, and tends to increase or deepen poverty by stripping victims of the ability to continue their livelihoods.
In times of remarkable political transformations and the mass torture that accompanies it, let’s not forget “torture as usual”.