NGOs Campaign for a Torture-Free UN Trade Treaty — Global Issues
UN, February 7 (IPS) – Alluding to “Western hypocrisy”, a senior UN official once told a group of reporters, perhaps half-jokingly: When you take one of the tours in Europe, they’ll show you their palaces and castles– but never their medieval prison or torture chamber.
The torturers of the world, according to Western nations, mainly in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and the dictatorships of the Middle East — famous for their whips, blindfolds, irons, electric shock device and hang in public.
In recent years, torture and submersion have been common forms of punishment at US-run Guantanamo Bay, at Abu Ghraib prison in US-occupied Iraq, and at US Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan .
And in the center of Amsterdam are the “Museum of Torture” and the “Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments” displaying some of the devices of a bygone era.
Last month, London-based Amnesty International led a coalition of more than 30 civil society organizations (CSOs) calling for a treaty to control the trade in tools of torture used. to suppress peaceful protests and mistreat detainees around the world.
Dr. Simon Adams, President and CEO of the Center for Victims of Torture, the largest international organization dedicated to treating survivors and campaigning for an end to torture worldwide, says to IPS that it is disgusting and insulting that although torture is illegal everywhere, at all times, and under all circumstances, more than 500 companies from 58 countries are still manufacturing, marketing and selling goods used in torture on the world market.
“It is time to strictly control goods that are intentionally abused by some security forces to commit acts of torture and impose a global ban on goods that have no effect other than tracing. ton.”
“We need to outlaw the unscrupulous trade that causes untold human suffering. The United Nations General Assembly is our global parliament, and international law obliges nations to help stop torture.”
Therefore, the General Assembly should immediately move towards the adoption of the Trade No Torture Treaty and banning people and companies from profiting from torture,” he noted.
In a statement signed in London January 20, civil rights organizations (CSOs) launched a campaign calling for a treaty banning the manufacture and sale of inherently abusive devices such as spiked batons and spiked batons. wearable electric shock devices, as well as the introduction of human rights-based controls over the trade in more standard law enforcement equipment, such as pepper spray, rubber bullets, and handcuff.
The union says these items are often used to commit acts of torture or other ill-treatment, which are prohibited under international law.
When asked whether such a treaty should originate with the United Nations, Verity Coyle, Amnesty International’s Law & Policy adviser, told IPS: “Yes, Amnesty International around the world are campaigning for a No Torture Trade Treaty through our flagship Campaign – Defend Protests.
When the Government Experts Group (GGE) report was published on May 30, 2022, Amnesty published this PR react.
She said the 193-member United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) was the logical forum for making 2019 resolutions, including the recommendations of the GGE report.
The Trade Union Without Torture (over 60 members) is coordinated by the EU, Argentina and Mongolia.
In June 2022, Amnesty was invited to present its analysis of the GGE report ahead of a meeting of the Union “and we continue to hold regular meetings with the EU, especially in anticipation of on the proposed solution requires negotiation authorization”.
Coyle points out that civil society in Latin America is talking regularly with Argentina about the process.
Coyle, who sits on the Global Steering Committee of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, of which Amnesty International is a member, said: “Our divisions around the world are about to embark on a series of lobbying meetings in the capitals”.
In September 2017, the EU, Argentina and Mongolia established the Trade Not Torture Alliance on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The alliance now includes more than 60 countries from all regions of the world committed to “working together to further prevent, limit and end trafficking” in goods used for torture. other and the death penalty. In June 2019, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/73/L.94, Towards trade without torture, initiates a process of “reviewing the feasibility, scope and parameters for possible common international standards” to regulate international trade in this area.
The first phase in this UN process resulted in the publication of the United Nations Secretary-General’s study on Member States views in July 2020, which found that the majority of countries Respondents supported international standards, with most believing that they should adopt a “legally binding instrument that establishes measures to control and restrict trade in goods used for execution, tons or other forms of ill-treatment”.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on “promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms while fighting terrorism”, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, is making a “technical visit” to USA.
From 6 to 14 February, she will visit Washington DC and then the detention facility at US Naval Base Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
Over the next three-month period, Ní Aolain will also conduct a series of interviews with individuals in the United States and abroad, on a voluntary basis, including victims and victims’ families. September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and previous attacks. persons detained in resettlement/repatriation countries.
The visit takes place under the Terms of Reference for special procedures people’s country visits.
In addition to Amnesty International, civil society organizations campaigning for the treaty include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Article 36, the Asian Coalition Against Torture, the Association for the Prevention of Torture, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Against Torture (APT), Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic, International Jurists Committee, International Council on Rehabilitation for Victims of Torture, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates and Women’s International Federation for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), among other organizations.
Amnesty International’s Coyle also pointed out that devices, such as tear gas, rubber bullets, batons and restraints, have been used to intimidate, suppress and punish protesters sympathizers, human rights defenders and others, during the control of demonstrations and in detention facilities, in all regions, in recent years.
“Thousands of protesters have suffered eye injuries from the reckless use of rubber bullets, while others were hit by tear gas grenades, laced with too much chemical irritants, beaten with batons or tethered to a tense position”.
Even so, there are currently no human rights-related global controls over the law enforcement equipment trade. However, now the United Nations General Assembly has a historic opportunity to vote to begin negotiations on a treaty, she claimed.
Report of the UN IPS Office
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© Inter Press Service (2023) — All rights reservedOrigin: Inter Press Service