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Amnesty launches new online anti-torture film

Amnesty International has today launched a hard-hitting online film about torture, showing activists intervening to prevent a torture victim being further abused.

The 90-second film, entitled “Defy them” (available at ), initially depicts a person being subjected to a distressing form of partial-drowning torture similar to “waterboarding”.

Then, in a clever twist, the torturers are shown losing control of their hands as they are forced to act against their will, allowing the victim to escape further suffering. The hidden “power” behind the scenes is revealed to be a group of Amnesty International supporters and the film ends with the call to action “Torturers: defy them, join Amnesty International.”

The film is fictional, though based on real-life situations documented by Amnesty International.

Amnesty International UK Campaigns Director Tim Hancock said:

“Torture is never justified. No cause ever ‘justifies’ torture. Torture inflicts pain and suffering on its victims, degrades any society that allows it to happen and actually often yields nothing of value to the torturers anyway.

“We want people to watch this brilliant new film and go away with the feeling that (a) torture is unquestionably wrong, and (b) they can do something to stamp it out.

“We can all do something to help stop torture, whether it’s signing a petition, sending a letter to our MP or by joining Amnesty International.”

Amnesty’s new film is part of a campaign to oppose torture globally, including in the “war on terror”. The organisation recently called for the UK government to allow an independent inquiry into allegations that the UK has been complicit in the torture, rendition and illegal detention of people like Binyam Mohamed, recently released from Guantánamo Bay.

The “Defy them” film was made for Amnesty International UK and Amnesty International Australia by a creative team at the advertising agency WCRS. The film is one of several recently produced by Amnesty to highlight the reality of torture. Last year its “Stuff Of Life” film on waterboarding was viewed millions of times worldwide.

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