How can we stop torture?

What is the current international situation regarding torture? What is this new Amnesty International campaign all about? How as a local Amnesty group can we Stop Torture?

These question and others were discussed and answered at workshop held at our recent local group meeting.

The current international situation is that most government around the world agreed and signed up to a Convention Against Torture following an Amnesty International campaign. However, over the past five years there have been reports of torture in over 141 countries around the world.

The new Amnesty International campaign is focussed on ensuring safeguards are in place that help prevent torture. This includes detainees having access to a lawyer, that doctors are on hand to examine detainees properly and that there is independent monitoring in place.

The campaign focuses on making progress in five countries (Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, the Philippines and Uzbekistan. The intention is that if we succeed there will be a ripple effect that helps improve the situation in other countries in the surrounding area.

As a local group we can make a difference by contributing to the global effort made by hundreds of thousands of Amnesty supporters around the world. We will be signing letters on the Stop Torture campaign at our letter signing drop-ins (at Greenwich Picturehouse on 4th Tuesday at each month from 8pm), at our book sale on Saturday 22 November and when we held our Greenwich Market stall in December. We will also look to see what creative actions we can do.

A case where you can join us in taking action is that of Alfreda Disbarro who has been imprisoned since October 2013 on the basis of a ‘confession’ obtained by police through torture. The Philippines has laws to stop torture which the government has pledged their commitment to. We are asking the Philippine authorities to investigate claims of torture of Alfreda.

Find out more about the campaign and take action on cases including Alfreda’s at the Amnesty UK Stop Torture webpage.

You can also join us today on the #StopTorture Embassy Crawl starting outside Embankment station from 10.45am. If you wish to join later you can find out where we are by tweeting us.

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