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

 


Prohibition of torture is absolute,’ says Ban Ki-moon

‘Prohibition of torture is absolute,’ says Ban on International Day in support of victims

26 June 2014

Reiterating their pledge that every victim of torture will one day gain his or her right to acknowledgement, senior United Nations officials marked the International Day in Support of those victims by calling on the international community to strengthen efforts “to eradicate this heinous practice.”

“As we honour the victims on this International Day, let us pledge to strengthen our efforts to eradicate this heinous practice” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in hismessage, underlining that no forms of torture should be ever tolerated.

Forms of torture throughout the world range from beatings to rape and public sexual humiliation. Often they include the usage of specific machinery or object to inflict pain on the victims. Torture could also mean forcing someone to witness pain being inflicted on family members, such as children.

Every day, many men and women are subject to torture either in prisons, police stations, or detention centres. Those detained are likely to suffer prolonged isolation and never-ending interrogations. Basic resources, such as food and water and medical treatment are often denied for long periods of time, according to the United Nations.

“The prohibition of torture is absolute. The Convention against Torture states unequivocally that the use of torture is illegal under any circumstances, including armed conflict, the fight against terrorism, political instability or other emergency conditions,” stressed Mr. Ban.

Yet, even though the prohibition on torture extends beyond national borders, there are still 41 countries which have no ratified the Convention against torture, allowing forms of torture and ill-treatment against prisoners and detainees.

“All 155 States that have ratified this treaty have committed to fight impunity by thoroughly investigating and prosecuting violations and bringing perpetrators, no matter their level of office, to justice. They have also accepted the obligation to provide redress to the victims and their families” said the Secretary-General, suggesting that effective remedies and rehabilitation have yet to become a reality.

Many victims of torture across the globe had been assisted through the United Nations Fund for Victims of Torture.

“The Fund is supporting projects providing vital services to victims of torture fleeing violence and persecution.” has suggested Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. “Essential psycho-social assistance is being delivered to help victims of all age groups recover and regain their dignity” added Mr. Ban.

In her remarks, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, declared: “Torture is an unequivocal crime…Neither national security nor the fight against terrorism, the threat of war, or any public emergency can justify its use. All States are obliged to investigate and prosecute allegations of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and they must ensure by every means that such practices are prevented.”

In fact, the prohibition on torture extends beyond national borders: States may not return a person to a country where she or he is at risk of being subjected to torture or other cruel or inhuman treatment. “Furthermore, information extracted under torture may not be used in courts of law,” she said explain that this includes closed proceedings such as military courts, and hearings that the Government has made private for fear they could disclose sensitive information.

“It also means that intelligence agencies may not legally use information obtained under torture. Any such use not only weakens the absolute prohibition of torture by creating a market for information obtained by such means: it also amounts to collusion in acts of barbarity,” said Ms. Pillay.

Continuing, she said that every day her Office, and human rights activists, receive new reports of torture in Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe and Oceania. In almost all cases, those who have ordered and committed these violations escape justice.

“They are enveloped in the cloak of national protection or explicit amnesty measures, and their protectors feign ignorance of the horror that has been committed under their authority,” she said, adding that Governments that collude in this impunity violate not only the victim’s right to justice “but also the human rights of us all.”

“On June 26, we in the human rights community honour the world’s many victims of torture…We speak clearly and loudly so that officials everywhere will hear this message: no act of torture, or use of information extracted by torture, can be tolerated,” she said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Need To End Violence Against Children In Conflict

‘We should be outraged’ more not being done to end violence against children in conflict – UNICEF chief More>>

On Mandela Day, UN Joins Call To Promote Community Service

Nelson Mandela, then Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/P. Sudhakaran More>>

Some $3.2 Billion Needed For Ebola Recovery Efforts

Some $3.2 billion needed for Ebola recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – UN More>>

World Day: UN Spotlights Plight Of Vulnerable Populalations

Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting near the Syrian city of Kobani wait in a holding area before boarding buses in Turkey (September 2014). Photo: UNHCR /I. Prickett More>>

Afghanisatan: Direct Talks Between Government And Taliban

The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recently held direct talks between Afghan Government and Taliban representatives as a step towards “peace and reconciliation” in the region. More>>

Eradicating World Hunger By 2030

Agriculture workers collect carrots on a farm in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann More>>

Bangladesh: Flood Leads To UN Agency Providing Food Relief

Anwar Hossain unloads cartons of High Energy Biscuits from a pickup truck and transfers them to a distribution center in Kawar Khop union, Ramu upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/Kamrul Mithon More>>

Ban Says World Must Act Now To Curb Climate Change

Alarmed by melting glacier in Norway, Ban says world must 'act now' to curb climate change More>>

UN Spotlights Data And Technology As Key To Sustainability

The importance of quality data and cutting edge information communication technologies (ICTs) is increasingly critical to the shaping of the future sustainable development agenda, the head of the United Nations Development Programme ( UNDP ) confirmed today. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news