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UN committee: too many states still use torture practices

While the international community has come a long way in enacting legal standards to prevent torture and inhumane punishment, UN Committee Against Torture [official website] Chairperson Claudio Grossman said Tuesday that there are still too many states practicing torture [press release]. He said that while the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment [text], which became effective 25 years ago, has made a difference, there are currently 115 cases pending before his committee. Grossman, speaking to the General Assembly while giving his committee's annual report [materials], said

We have not yet achieved a world free from torture, but we believe that this goal is achievable, that rights and duties need to be taken seriously, and that supervisory organs with independent experts are an essential component to achieving that goal.
He called on the General Assembly to allocate more funding and resources to address this issue and called on countries to act on commitments to put a stop to torture.

Torture is a worldwide problem that the UN and human rights groups have been working to abolish. Earlier this month, Amnesty International [advocacy website] reported that Rwanda has been subjecting its citizens [JURIST report] to unlawful detention, enforced disappearances and torture. Also this month, the British government announced that it would allow three Kenyans to sue for torture [JURIST report] they suffered in the 1950s while in detention under the British Colonial Administration. Two days earlier a Turkish court sentenced [JURIST report] two prison guards and a prison director to life in prison for the torture and killing of an anti-government activist. The UN last month also called on Georgia to investigate torture in its prisons [JURIST report] after a video of the alleged torture and rape of prisoners in its capital became public.

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