No hiding place for torture

Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to be free from torture and other ill-treatment. 60 years after it was adopted unanimously at the United Nations, Amnesty International documented torture in at least 81 countries. The organization has documented torture for decades, but governments’ actions in recent years have challenged the validity of the prohibition itself, particularly in the context of counter terrorism. This month, Amnesty International will seek to reverse this trend. In partnership with the Global Elders, the organization will call on governments to condemn and prevent torture and other ill-treatment and hold to account those responsible.  No justification for tortureGovernment responses to the attacks of 11 September 2001, and attacks in other countries since then, have amounted to a serious assault on the framework of human rights. They have not only used torture, they have sought to justify it in the name of security. Detainees have been subjected to secret detention, enforced disappearance and indefinite detention without charge or trial. They have been transferred from one state to another without due process and have been sent to countries where they have faced torture. Such practices and lack of accountability have facilitated the spread and acceptance of torture. Counter Terror with Justice Torture is a crime that cannot be justified under any circumstances.  Governments must bring to justice those responsible for authorising and inflicting it. The conditions which allow it to flourish, particularly illegal detention, must be brought to an end. Governments have a duty to protect their population from violent attacks, but real security can only be achieved through justice and the promotion of human rights. What you can do: Amnesty International will organize actions on and around 26 June, International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Contact your local office and get involved;  Take action now to end illegal US detentions; Stay informed by signing up to our e-newsletter and visiting our activism blog.