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‘Is torture ever justifiable?’ Debate at Otago University

‘Is torture ever justifiable?’ Debate by the Otago University Debating Society with guest speaker Professor Richard Jackson from the National Centre for Peace & Conflicts Studies. Hosted by Amnesty International Otago University & Polytechnic

We encourage you to join us in discussing the use of torture. This debate between students of the Otago University Debating Society is part of Amnesty International’s Freedom Challenge Week, an annual campaign week by youth groups. This year the topic is torture.

Between January 2009 and May 2013, Amnesty Interntional received reports of torture and other illtreatment committed by state officials in 141 countries and from every world region. New Zealand’s neighbours in the Asia-Pacfic region are some of the worst offenders, where governments are allowing police and state security forces to torture with impunity.

“As more governments seek to justify torture in the name of national security, the steady progress made in this field over the last 30 years is being eroded” – Grant Bayldon, Executive Director of Amnesty International NZ.

The debate will hopefully stimulate reflection and encourage research, with a better understanding of the various considerations that undermine basic assumptions.

The debate will present both sides of the argument, in the context of the comeback of torture by governments, and a prevalent attitude that some methods of torture are more acceptable than others.

“We wish to make people aware that this is not only an issue for non-democratic countries, but that democratic nations are also involved in the maintance of a global culture of torture-behind-the-scenes, under the banner of national security, via implicit consent that is based on assumptions that some forms of torture can work and are needed.” Ray Nukada, co-organiser, Amnesty International Otago. Professor Richard Jackson from the University of Otago’s National Centre for Peace & Conflicts Studies will introduce the debate and also speak afterwards.

All are welcome.

When: Monday 11th of August, 7–8pm.
Where: Archway 2 lecture theatre, University of Otago campus.


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