Torture Is A Violation Of International Law

1625 words - 7 pages

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” (Olen, 304). Throughout history, torture has been used by governments to extract information from prisoners of war to protect the people of the nation (Gushee). The definition of torture provided by U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984) regards both extreme physical and mental pain perpetrated on a civilian by a government official or agent (UUSC). There have been plenty of arguments regarding whether or not it is acceptable to torture, if so, under what circumstances does it become adequate. A debate about this issue should not even occur because torture should never be acceptable under any conditions. Torture is never acceptable because of reasons of principle, consequential reasons, and violation of international law (“Why is torture wrong?”).
The first reason of principle why torture should never be acceptable is because torture treats the victims as pawns by dehumanizing the victims and by violating their rights and human dignity. To make torture easy and simple, torturers dehumanize their victim. A human being’s body is an essential part for his or her life; however, the people who torture do not consider a victim’s life as important. Most likely, the first thing a torturer might do is hurt the victim’s physical body by getting him or her weak and then obtain the information he or she knows (“Why is torture wrong?”). Photographs of prisoners in Abu Ghraib prove that victims are being treated worse than animals. One memorable picture of the horrific scene was of electrical wires being attached to a stool where a prisoner was standing (Gates). By treating victims as “things” not as human beings, torture violates the rights and human dignity of the victim. People have the right not be tortured. The Salinas Case can be a perfect example for this situation. In Houston, there was a shooting of two brothers at their home with no witnesses, and the only evidence to be found was shotgun shell casings. Genovevo Salinas was brought in for questioning at the police station because he was present at the house on the night of the incident. Salinas gave the shotgun to the police even though he had not been read the Miranda rights nor had he been arrested. After Salinas gave the shotgun to the police, Salinas started getting nervous and acting nervous because the police were questioning if the gun would make the shells from the murder scene. According to the Salinas Case, if a victim says the Fifth Amendment, the right to remain silent, then the right is not being violated. However, government has full authority to interrogate a victim if he or she does not use the right because it would make him or her look suspicious and guilty (Wolverton). Some societies have used to torture to change people’s ways. Find a way to end paragraph.
Another reason why torture is never...

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