Torture antidote against political violence used in 98 pc of nationsDecember 15th, 2007 - 6:35 pm ICT by admin
Washington, Dec 15 (ANI): A new study has revealed that 98 per cent of nations use torture in any political violence, and the Western democracies are no exception to it.
“Torture remains widespread,” says Christian Davenport, one of the researchers of the study, who has also written a new book titled “State Repression and the Domestic Democratic Peace,” and has extensively researched human rights violations.
“When at least one group commits at least one act of violence, countries with institutions that support liberal democracy are effectively just as likely to use torture as countries that do not have such institutions,” Davenport says, adding, “Democracies have responded by innovating ‘clean’ methods of torture that do not leave permanent marks or other evidence of pain or physical trauma.”
The political scientist of the University of Maryland, Davenport, said the practise of torture is hard to stop.
“Once started, torture practices are hard to stop. A strong judiciary and independent legislature help. But preliminary research shows that civil society is the most important determinant for stopping torture,” Davenport adds.
Another researcher from the University of Maryland, Thomas Hilde says torture is rarely an isolated procedure.
“Torture becomes institutionalise,” Hilde maintains, adding, “There must be trained interrogator or torturers and thus also trainers, a legal and administrative apparatus, a cadre of doctors and lawyers and data analysts, and others, all of whom would be required to suspend their moral decency.”
“We end up with a swelling institution in search of its moral justification, causing increasing damage to innocents and ourselves, all in search of the supreme moral justification - the time bomb - only to find that, in the end, it is we who have become the moral equivalent of the time bomb,” he adds.
Both experts presented their researches at a field hearing conducted by the Helsinki Commission - a US Government agency that monitors human rights.
Senator and commission co-chairman, Benjamin Cardin, who convened the field hearing, along with Congressman Alcee Hastings, deeply regretted that even after six decades after the adoption of the Universal Declaration, it was necessary to have a hearing on torture.
They also expressed their concerns over the destruction of CIA videotapes of terror suspects under interrogation and criticised US’ policies on torture. (ANI)
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