We are witnessing a global crisis on torture.
Over the last five years, Amnesty International has reported on torture in 141 countries – three-quarters of the world. For decades, Amnesty has exposed governments who torture. We have supported torture survivors to get justice. Today, laws against torture are in place almost everywhere. Yet you only have to glance at the news to know that laws alone are not enough. Torture is thriving because rather than respecting the law, many governments are either actively using torture or turning a blind eye to it. Torture is cruel and inhumane. It is banned under international law. It corrodes the rule of law and undermines the criminal justice system. It can never, ever be justified.
For decades, Amnesty has exposed governments who torture. We have had many successes, including the historic moment 30 years ago when the UN voted for a Convention against – a groundbreaking step towards making the global ban on torture a reality. Torture has been outlawed internationally since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. 156 countries have signed the UN Convention against Torture.
We also support torture survivors to get justice. People like Ángel Colón, who was released in October 2014, nearly six years after he was tortured and wrongly imprisoned in Mexico. More than 20,000 Amnesty supporters demanded his release. Ángel told us: “My message to all those who are showing me their solidarity, and are against torture and discrimination, is ‘don’t drop your guard. A new horizon is dawning’.”