The so-called 'war on terror' has led to an erosion of fundamental human rights, highlighted by the increasing use and acceptance of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
We have seen and heard testimonies of 'terrorist suspects', held or formerly held in places of detention such as Guantánamo Bay and Bagram. We know that such places of detention exist in several locations globally. We know that this new trend for torture must stop.
Amnesty's campaign against torture in the 'war on terror' was launched on 26 June 2005. The campaign highlights the harsh reality of torture and its consequences. We are campaigning to hold governments accountable for their actions and to uphold international law and the absolute prohibition of torture under any circumstances.
- Read our 12-Point Programme for the Prevention of Torture
- Read the background and key messages of the campaign (word)
International day for victims of torture
Torture. Nothing justifies this. Nothing makes it right. But it's happening to people across the world. Mark the international day for victims of torture on Tuesday 26 June. Take action for the victims now
NGOs demand justice for Northern Ireland torture victims
Victims of torture have frequently been left out of the debate about how to deal with the legacy of Northern Ireland's past. A new Guardian film by Ian Cobain shows the emotional scars that many victims still bear, and underlines their right to remedy and reparation.
Following the release of the film, Amnesty and Irish RIGHTS WATCH have renewed calls for an investigation into allegations of torture and other ill treatment. Find out more
The Detainee Inquiry, chaired by Sir Peter Gibson, was commissioned by Prime Minister David Cameron in July 2010. The same Government announced that the Inquiry would be scrapped in January 2012, following further investigations by the Metropolitan Police into allegations of British officials assisting with rendition.
The Inquiry was never fit for purpose (read why). We await with interest the report by the Inquiry on its work to date, and hope the Government takes the opportunity to launch an investigation that is fully human rights-compliant.
When water is torture
You are tied to a board, your ankles, wrists, chest and head strapped firmly down. Water pours onto your face, flows up your nose, into your mouth, down your throat and fills your lungs and stomach.
This is waterboarding.
The CIA uses waterboarding to try to extract information from detainees in the 'war on terror'. President George Bush thinks it is a 'necessary tool'. We think it's torture.
What we want to achieve
- All states and individuals engaging in torture, or the infliction of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment to be fully investigated and held accountable
- The facilities where detainees are subjected to such treatment to be closed and detainees to be given access to full and fair trial procedures or released. No person is to be transferred to any country where they are likely to be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
- All evidence extracted by these means never to be used or relied upon in legal proceedings