On International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, 26 June, Amnesty International announces that it is intensifying its work against torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by launching a campaign against torture and ill-treatment in the 'war on terror'.
In recent days, Amnesty International has campaigned on behalf of a 19-year-old Uzbekistani facing execution despite strong indications that he was brutally beaten into making a murder confession; a detained bride, groom, and wedding party of 200 guests belonging to a banned Christian minority church in Eritrea, all of whom are at grave risk of being tortured in order to make them renounce their faith; and a prominent Kurdish imam in Syria who was apparently tortured to death.
"Torture is the ultimate corruption of humanity," said Denise Searle, Senior Director of Campaigns at Amnesty International. "Attempts at justification and the use of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in the 'war on terror' threaten the global ban on torture and ill-treatment, with traditional 'torture states' taking comfort from the actions and rhetoric of their former critics. We need to tackle torture and ill-treatment in the 'war on terror' if we are to reassert the global ban on these practices."
Amnesty International urges governments and groups around the world to use this day to end torture and ill-treatment for once and for all. The organization is calling on the USA to lead the way, by setting up a full independent investigation into US detention and interrogation policies and practices around the world.
Amnesty International members will be marking 26 June in a number of ways, including through writing letters to President Bush and to US embassies, recording statements against torture, holding vigils and collecting signatures at a variety of events.
For more information on the campaign, please go to www.amnesty.org/stoptorture.
For latest human rights news view http://news.amnesty.org.
For more information or to arrange interviews please contact Amnesty International Australia Media Coordinator Deborah Shaw on 0422 869 439