Amnesty’s Stop Torture Campaign at SIS

Courtesy of Amnesty Sweden.

Though torture may seem foreign and distant to us here in Sweden, we must remember that torture is very real for many people around the world. Guilty and innocent people are tortured for information and confessions in 141 countries. Torture encompasses maltreatment such as electric shocks, beating, rape, burning, water torture and much more. There are numerable international laws against torture. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 5, states that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. This declaration was signed in the aftermath of the Second World War. Furthermore, the UN Convention Against Torture provides measures to prevent torture, punish perpetrators and bring justice to victims. Nonetheless, torture is still prevalent and Amnesty International hopes to shed light on torture, through their “Stop Torture” campaign.

This is Amnesty’s fourth annual “Stop Torture” campaign, with the goal to raise awareness and prevent torture. The campaign focuses on creating mechanisms to prevent torture. These mechanisms include the presence of doctors and lawyers in prisons and other places in which people are held hostage. Amnesty also wants those who torture to be held responsible for their actions. Amnesty Sweden has chosen three countries to focus on; Mexico, Uzbekistan and Nigeria. In 2012, in Mexico, Claudia Medina Tamariz was taken from her home by marine soldiers to the local marine base. There, Claudia was subjected to torture and forced to sign a confession she was not allowed to read. When she was taken to court, she denied this confession, and informed the judge of the torture she has been put under. Claudia was then released. However, there has not been an investigation into the torture, even though it has been confirmed that she was in fact tortured. Claudia’s case is similar to those of many others. Victims of torture do not received the compensation they deserve.

Through letter writing and SMS petitions Amnesty International hopes to bring attention to torture around the world and protect people from this gruesome violation against human rights. At SIS the Amnesty group will be collecting signatures and giving out cookies for the campaign on May 11-13 in the two Annexes. The group hopes to spread awareness and enthusiasm about the campaign to the students at SIS.

If you are interested in more information about torture and the “Stop Torture” campaign, follow these links.