World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Europe: 50 Years Of The European Convention

News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International

3 November 2000 EUR 01/006/2000 208/00

Fifty years after its adoption on 4 November 1950, the vision set out in the European Convention on Human Rights remains an unfinished project, Amnesty International said today in a new report on torture and ill-treatment across Europe.

"This landmark event in modern European history provided the cornerstone for the Council of Europe human rights system. The extraordinary achievements in standards for human rights protection deserve to be celebrated, however in practice much work remains to be done," the organization said.

Torture and ill-treatment persists across the European region -- from the United Kingdom to Azerbaijan. In the first six months, torture and ill-treatment was documented by Amnesty International in at least 25 countries, 20 of them member states of the Council of Europe including Belgium, Russia and Spain.

"The fact is that Europe is not a comfortable and secure place for all its inhabitants -- in many countries discrimination against vulnerable groups leads to torture or ill-treatment. Victims include members of ethnic, racial and religious minorities; immigrants; refugees and asylum-seekers; children and criminal suspects."

Despite the exemplary work of bodies such as the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, the political will to bring torturers to justice remains lacking. Amnesty International's report highlights the cycle of impunity which persists throughout the continent.

Torture is widespread in Turkey but according to official figures, investigations of 577 security officials accused of torture between 1995 and 1999 resulted in only 10 convictions (1.7%). For example, Zeynep Avci, a young Kurdish woman, was reportedly subjected to electro-shocks and sexual torture in police custody in Izmir in 1996. Despite a formal complaint, the torturers have not been brought to justice. Zeynep Avci had to stop psychological treatment because security officers refused to vacate the room during therapy sessions.

Clement Nwankwo, a prominent Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, travelled to Geneva, Switzerland in April 1997 to attend a UN human rights session. He complained that police officers stopped him on the street, kicked and punched him, racially abused him, beat him with batons and then put a baton across his neck. After being transferred to a police station, he was forced to strip naked and was handcuffed to a table leg for over an hour.

During his 72 hours of detention he was tried under a summary procedure which found him guilty of shoplifting and resisting police. The shoplifting charge was dropped after a formal challenge but no one has been brought to account for his ordeal.

"Only by taking concerted action against impunity will Europe have something truly worth celebrating in this anniversary year - governments must put the Convention into practice and take action to stamp out torture," Amnesty International said.

You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact. Only the list subscription message may be removed.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC