Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

26 June 2008

Spotlight on torture

Spotlight on torture

On 26 June, International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, Amnesty International members and supporters are taking action around the world. They are calling on governments to reaffirm their commitment to the consensus affirmed after the Second World War - that torture and other ill-treatment are absolutely prohibited. 

Click on the pictures to the right to watch a slideshow with images of the day. 

Recently, there has been a new and acute threat to the international prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment in the context of government responses to the threat of terrorism. It is the validity of the absolute prohibition itself that has been challenged by the actions of governments around the world.

What this means in reality is that individuals are subjected to horrific practices. In the context of government counter-terrorism strategies, Amnesty International has documented practices such as:

  • beatings, electric shocks, simulated drowning, prolonged isolation and other physical abuse;
  • the return of individuals to countries where they are at risk of torture, sometimes on the basis of flimsy “diplomatic assurances”;
  • secret detention.

Amnesty International is calling on all governments to: condemn all forms of torture and other ill-treatment; prevent torture, including through ending secret and incommunicado detention; and hold to account those responsible for authorising, facilitating, or inflicting torture or other ill-treatment.

Today is not a day of passive remembrance but one for action: governments and citizens across the world should act to reverse the trend of recent years and eradicate these cruel and inhuman practices.  

Don’t let torture go unchallenged:

Read More

No hiding place for torture (Information sheet, June 2008)

Tunisia: Torture, illegal detention and unfair trials (Information sheet, 23 June 2008) 

Six steps for Europe to end rendition and secret detention (Information sheet, 24 June 2008) 

USA: Torture, Enforced disappearance and Impunity (Information sheet, 1 May 2008) 


Disappearances And Abductions 
Torture And Ill-treatment 


Asia And The Pacific 
Europe And Central Asia 
Middle East And North Africa 


Security with Human Rights 

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