In the context of the “war on terror”, the international ban on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment has been flouted and challenged by governments around the world. States have inflicted unspeakable suffering on captives using methods so abhorrent and brutal that they have long been outlawed by the international community. The argument that torture and ill-treatment are always wrong was won many years ago. Governments around the world agreed, and wrote into international law, that there was never any circumstance that justified the use of torture or ill-treatment. This briefing urges action by governments and individuals.