Torture is rampant across the globe. Since Freedom from Torture was founded in 1985, we have been passionately committed to shining a light on torture practices and holding torturing states to account. But in 2020, the sky is darkening.
As shameless promoters of torture are taking the helm of governments across the world – even in liberal democracies like the US, Brazil and the Philippines – the use of torture is becoming more ‘thinkable’ and ‘speakable’.
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro hails a convicted torturer as a ‘national hero’. US president Donald Trump says that torture “absolutely works” and has nominated notorious torture supporter Marshall Billingslea for the top US human rights role.
In the UK, our government continues to block the truth about British complicity in the CIA’s torture programme and is, right now, proposing new laws to create impunity for British soldiers accused of torture and other war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.
These are some examples of how a green light is given to torturers around the world. But not only is torture immoral and illegal - it doesn't work.
Not only is torture immoral and illegal - it doesn't work.
After 9/11, Mark Fallon, former chief investigator of Al-Qaeda for trials and military commission, witnessed the US government’s use of "enhanced interrogation" with his own eyes when he worked in Guantanamo Bay. He was so shocked by what he saw that he went on to become a passionate anti-torture advocate. He joined us at Freedom from Torture to explain to us in 60 seconds why torture doesn’t work.
"Experts know that torturing information out of a person produces tainted and corrupted intelligence," says Mark. "Governments make flawed and dangerous decisions based on fabricated evidence which has been obtained from torturing people."
You can watch the video in full above.