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


Prohibition Of Torture 'Absolute,' UN Officials

Prohibition Of Torture 'Absolute,' UN Officials Reaffirm

Secretary-General Kofi Annan leads a chorus of United Nations human rights officials and experts denouncing torture today, saying that international prohibitions against such cruel treatment are absolute and apply whether in peacetime or war.

In a message on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, observed annually on 26 June, the Secretary-General calls it an occasion for the world to reaffirm that torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated.

"It is a day to renew our commitment to denounce such acts and seek justice for torture victims. Above all, it is a day for governments to ask themselves whether they are doing enough to prevent acts of torture, assist their victims, punish the perpetrators and ensure that they are not repeated," he says.

Mr. Annan notes that sadly, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment remains commonplace in too many countries. "Yet the prohibition of such acts is not ambiguous: it is absolute," he says. "It is binding on all States in all territories under their jurisdiction or effective control. It applies in all circumstances, in times of war as in times of peace. Nor is torture permissible when it is called something else. Euphemisms cannot be used to bypass legal obligations."

In Geneva, a group of UN human rights officials, led by the Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights, Bertrand Ramcharan, and the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights on the question of torture, Theo van Boven, issued a statement echoing the Secretary-General's.

"The non-derogable nature of this prohibition is enshrined in the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, as well as in several other instruments," the statement said.

Under international law, they said, countries had a duty to investigate torture whenever it occurs, prosecute the guilty parties and award comp public authorities are remiss in fulfilling their duties in this respect, allowing torture to continue to occur with impunity," the statement said.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news