A new report released today by Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation reveals that European companies are participating in the global trade in ‘tools of torture’ such as fixed wall restraints, metal ‘thumb cuffs’, and electroshock ‘sleeves’ and ‘cuffs’ delivering 50,000 volt shocks to detained prisoners.
See http://bit.ly/c3dW4T for more information
On Friday I read a piece by Birmingham Mail columnist, Maureen Messent, that made me feel truly disgusted. In it she supported the use of torture in the so-called ‘War on Terror’ – see http://bit.ly/aB1s1g
I believe torture is abhorrent, absolutely forbidden by international law and will in any case produce unreliable information at the cost of shattering lives forever. It additionally provides a perfect propaganda weapon for al-Qai’da and others. Guantanmo and practices such as rendition make it easy for both terrorists and despotic regimes to say that the US and its allies do not respect human rights. It is true that international terrorism remains a very real threat. But fighting it must never mean throwing away our own values and rights.
I feel Maureen Messent is misguided in her views and fails to stand up for our values of democracy, human rights and respect for both the rules and process of law. If you feel strongly about this issue why not write a letter to the Birmingham Mail email@example.com
The West Midlands Amnesty International Regional Conference will be held on Saturday 10th October between 10am and 4.15pm at the Library Theatre in Birmingham. The main speakers will be looking at Amnesty’s work on Individuals at Risk, what happened at the International Council Meeting and our guest speaker, David Nicholl will be focussing on campaigning to prevent torture. For full details see the Regional Conference 2009 Agenda and to book your place email me on firstname.lastname@example.org – you must book in advance by Monday 5th October at the latest.