Why are we rolling out the red carpet for Donald Trump?

Torture is always wrong. So why are we rolling out the red carpet for torture-advocate Donald Trump? On Tuesday 4 June Freedom from Torture will take to the streets and let Trump know that his stance on torture isn't welcome in the UK. 

Blog by Sonya Sceats, Chief Executive of Freedom from Torture

Why are we rolling out the red carpet for President Trump? He brazenly promotes torture by claiming it “absolutely” works. He brags: “I would bring back waterboarding, and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse”.

Torture is wrong. Always. It is ineffective, completely unethical and illegal in all circumstances. And it destroys lives. We know this from the work our therapists do every day to help people rebuild their lives following terrible abuse at the hands of torturers.

Trump’s state visit to the UK is undeserved. To those of us who believe in compassion, fairness and the rule of law, it is an affront.

Trump condones torture not only through his cheap talk, but also through his actions.

Last year he appointed to the CIA top job Gina Haspel - a woman accused of overseeing CIA torture and then destroying the records. He recently pardoned a US solider who tortured and murdered an Iraqi civilian. He hints that more pardons are coming for others accused of war crimes.

Knowing that the US President supports torture is devastating for survivors. Many feel that Trump is suggesting that the cruelty inflicted on them is defensible. They see that he is standing with the perpetrators instead of survivors of torture.

Knowing that the US President supports torture is devastating for survivors. Many feel that Trump is suggesting that the cruelty inflicted on them is defensible. They see that he is standing with the perpetrators instead of survivors of torture.

Through their words and deeds, Trump and his buddies like Jair Bolsonaro and Rodrigo Duterte are fomenting pro-torture views in liberal democracies and giving confidence to torturers in every corner of the globe that they should carry on.

Here in Britain, the torture ban is also at risk.

Only last month, the United Nations slammed the UK government for failing to deliver an independent judge-led inquiry into complicity in CIA torture, something MPs on all sides of the Commons and human rights groups, like us, have been urging for years.

More recently, the Ministry of Defence was caught with a secret policy suggesting that Ministers can approve intelligence sharing even if it leads to torture.

Now the Defence Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, is trying to erect legal roadblocks against prosecution of British troops accused of war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

These moves are part of a broad assault on values that our parents and grandparents fought for over decades.

Trump openly supports politicians here who are fanning xenophobic views and trying to take our country backwards. He says he hopes to meet some of them next week.

We need to take a stand against people like Trump who promote hate and seek to dismantle human rights protections, including the ban on torture, which we worked so hard to build.

We need to take a stand against people like Trump who promote hate and seek to dismantle human rights protections, including the ban on torture, which we worked so hard to build.

This is why I will be marching on 4 June with torture survivors, supporters and staff from Freedom from Torture to protest President Trump’s visit. We will be carrying banners and placards reading “No to Torture, No to Trump”. We will tell him in no uncertain terms that we reject his stance on torture. That our values are different.

If you want to live in a country that is certain torture is always wrong, that is proud to be a safe place for people fleeing torture, please show your support.

Take a stand. Sign our declaration. Join us on the march.

Show Trump his values aren't welcome here by standing up for our values.

How to take a stand against Trump