Angus MacDonald MSP Supports Launch of Amnesty Scotland Stop Torture Campaign
Thursday, 26 June 2014 15:01
Amnesty International has launched its global Stop Torture campaign ahead of today’s UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The human rights organisation says torture is flourishing, despite a 30-year global ban.
In the last five years, Amnesty has recorded torture and other forms of ill-treatment in at least 141 countries from every region of the world but the secretive nature of torture means the true number is likely to be even higher.
Angus MacDonald MSP, said:
“For more than 50 years Amnesty International has been fighting to stamp out torture. Their work is crucial in exposing occurrences of torture all over the world.
“It is shocking that in many countries torture is used regularly and justified as a means of extracting information and “confessions.”
“Stories are uncovered like that of Moses Akatugba who was arrested at only 16 years old and tortured, accused of stealing mobile phones. This young man has been in prison for 8 years and remains on death row.
“There are more than 3 million Amnesty supporters worldwide. I am pleased to note that 20,000 of them are here in Scotland, with 123 local youth and student groups actively campaigning against torture around the world.”
Siobhan Reardon, Amnesty Scotland’s Programme Director, said:
“Thirty years ago 151 countries signed up to the UN Convention Against Torture, but since then we have seen a steady decline in almost every one of those countries and today torture is flourishing. Governments hold up the convention in one hand whilst sanctioning horrendous acts of brutality against their own people, with the other.
“Torture has been used against people in the name of national security. It has been used to silence dissidents and political rivals. It has even been used against schoolchildren. In some countries, torture is routine, while in others cases of abuse are isolated and exceptional. However, just one case of torture or ill-treatment is not only prohibited by international law, it is completely unacceptable.
“Amnesty International has been at the forefront of the campaign to eradicate torture for fifty years and although achieving the Convention Against Torture in 1984 was an important milestone, we need a global campaign to end torture more than ever.
“Today is the Stop Torture Global Day of Action and we are asking everyone in Scotland to speak out on behalf of all those who have been tortured – and are being tortured right now. Torture is never justifiable and should never be used by any government for any reason.”