Stopping Torture – one Urgent Action at a time
Amnesty has a long history of campaigning for the eradication of torture worldwide – so much so that we won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977. Since Amnesty’s creation, we’ve worked on behalf of individuals who are victims of torture, or who are at risk of torture.
One of the ways we do this is through our Urgent Action Network. In 2013 alone we worked on over 100 urgent cases where the individuals were at imminent risk of torture, or had experienced torture. The cases come from all over the world, affecting men, woman and children.
In many cases the risk of torture is not the main concern of the case – this isn’t to say that it’s not important, but more that if you’re detained in China, arrested in Syria, or on hunger strike in an Iranian prison, the risk of torture is just something else on a long-list of potential human rights abuses you’re at risk of. It’s part of the package as it were – thrown in for good measure.
Torture and ill-treatment feature in over a third of our Urgent Action cases year after year.
Torture IS flourishing. That’s why we’ve launched our Stop Torture campaign. It will focus on five countries – Nigera, Mexico, Morocco, Philippines and Uzbekistan - where torture is rife, and will campaign on a long-term case from each of these countries. Cases of men and woman who have been the victims of torture, and are still living with the consequences.
People like 16-year-old schoolboy Moses Akatugba, who, he said, was beaten and shot by the soldiers who arrested him.
Or Claudia Medina Tamariz, a mother of three who was abducted from her home in Veracruz City by two soldiers in plainclothes, and taken to a military barracks where she was given electric shocks, beaten and kicked.
In our newly published research, we talk about the secretive and all-pervasive nature of torture across the world. And this is why so many cases we work on include the risk of torture – because it is in so many places, in so many countries and happening to so many people.
You can help us turn the tide against this all-pervasive use of torture. Join our torture campaign, and sign up to our Urgent Action Network to take action on the cases we see every week from around the world.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.