You’ve hung from the ceiling for hours. Your muscles scream. Electric shocks convulse your body. Water forced into your mouth. You think you are drowning. Whatever it takes to break you. To make you submit. To sign a confession or hand over information. You are hidden away. You think you are forgotten, you think you are alone.
In New Zealand it is hard to imagine, but right now all over the world, states are torturing people just like you.
Amnesty International knows that in the past five years at least 141 countries used torture; as means of punishment, to gain information, to force confessions, to intimidate, humiliate and terrorise.
Torture is banned by 155 countries, yet it continues to flourish. Torture blooms where police are not held accountable for their actions and when detainees are hidden away from the outside world.
Nothing has changed.
It is time to stop states torturing for good. Amnesty International demands that governments reveal the secret locations where torture endures and that they enact mechanisms to prevent abuse and to punish torturers, including
- proper medical examinations
- access to lawyers
- and independent investigations into allegations of torture.
Safeguards are the solution. Safeguards create a barrier between the torturer and the tortured. You can be that barrier.
New Zealand has a strong history of speaking out against torture. New Zealand’s government has put safeguards in place to ensure no torture can take place unnoticed here. New Zealanders have legal protections to access lawyers and medical professionals when they are in vulnerable situations. We must demand the same safeguards are in place in other parts of the world.
New Zealanders are in a strong position to call for the protection of others from torture.
Together we can stand between the tortured and the torturer.