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New manual for those fighting torture and treating its victims

Heightened concerns for security have led to an alarming acceptance of torture in some quarters since the events of September 11.

A new manual published on Thursday 26 June by Amnesty International provides a valuable resource to all people campaigning against torture and working with torture victims. Combating Torture: a manual for action is published on United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The manual is illustrated with dozens of case studies and examples and contains comprehensive summaries of international and regional law on torture.

For the first time, attention is drawn to torture and ill-treatment outside of police and security institutions. There is coverage of ill-treatment in mental institutions and orphanages, corporal punishment in schools, violence in the family and community and forced alteration of gender identity. The use of undue force by the police and the misuse of new methods of restraint and crowd control is another area that receives emphasis in this new volume.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

'Torture doesn't happen in a vacuum. International law unequivocally and absolutely prohibits torture in all circumstances, yet torturers continue to inflict physical agony and mental anguish on countless victims.

'In many different professions there are preventative safeguards that can help avert torture and ill-treatment, or help bring those responsible to justice. This manual is a vital tool for anybody fighting against torture or working to help its victims.'

Combating Torture: a manual for action is 335pp long and is available from Amnesty International priced £20.00 inc. p&p. It is published by Amnesty International ISBN 0-86210-323-1

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