Torture And Human Rights Essay, Research Paper
For many years torture has been practiced in nations worldwide. Despite the fact that torture is the most horrible and unacceptable form of punishment many nations still torture people. It may seem that all kinds of organizations and especially united Nations try to abolish torture completely, it is hard and long road to do this. It is known that torture was used form the beginning of the world.
For example, torture in Asia was used for many ages. Especially, torture was used in countries like China, Japan and India. In Europe contrives like Rome, Greece, England and Spain were the ones who used torture for hundreds of years. Torture in those countries was used as a form of punishment. During Middle Ages torture was used to oppress religious opponents. The so-called inquisition was the way to destroy people who would not convert into Catholicism. An inquisition took part mostly in France, Germany, Italy and Spain (Totten & Kleg, P. 138-140)
However, in 17th century some countries tried to abolish torture. For example, in England after the English Bill of Rights was drafted in 1689 torture became less used. The English Bill of Rights stated that Cruel and unusual punishment ought not be inflicted (Totten & Kleg, p 141.) Thus, England wanted not to administer torture anymore. However, the real opposition against torture begin in 18th century during the age of Enlightenment.; It was people s idea to change their ways of living and be more humanitarian. For those people torture was seen as very cruel thing to do to other people. In that period France adapted Declaration of the Fights of Man. This Declaration tried to abolish torture forever. France even made torture as equally as a murder. Thus, for the first time in history of torture, the torture was considered as a violation of human rights of people. At that time, did not matter if torture was used against people because of their political or religious beliefs because torture was forbidden any ways (Totten & Kleg, p. 141)
Thus, until 1920 s it seemed that torture was forgotten and it was not used as other as it was centuries before. However, the times of torture came back even with worst methods of torturing people. Also, torture started to be more cruel and degrading. Thus, during 1930 s torture started to be used to make people to be loyal to their governments. Further more people were tortured because of their race ( Millett, P. 15-170).
Therefore, the use of torture started to grow rapidly. For example, during War World II, Germany and Japan used torture to get information. Also, the camps that Germany used to torture and Kill Jews and other people were a form of violating human rights against use of torture. Furthermore, torture was used in Africa and Asia where it was used on those who wanted freedom by those who had governmental power (Totten & Kleg, p. 142 143).
Thus, the main issue is that for most of the time torture is used by governments to accomplish their goals. For example, governments of certain nations that use torture to punish not only adults but children too. Especially, children are tortured when they take part in political activities that government of the given country disapproves. Also, they torture kids to confession case when government thinks that those children committed crimes. Further, more torture is used on children to punish their parents of their wrong doings. Also, children are watching as their parents are tortured. The torture of children takes place especially in places like Africa, South America, Central America, Middle East and Asia (Totten & Kleg, p 150 151).
Therefore, torture has a long history. However, the time when the torture came to serious consideration as violation of human rights was after the year of 1945. After that year when people found out about Hitler s killing and torturing Jews, the situation reflecting torture changed. People of all countries understood that the torture was not a concern of one nation, but whole world should protect human rights. People could not believe that in so many countries people are killed and tortured and nobody areas. Thus, people took into consideration that nations worldwide should so mare about protecting human rights. Especially, after the horror that happened to Jew during World War II. Thus, because of it United nations wanted to make sure that the human rights protection was concern of all nations, and not only individuals (Totten & Kleg, P. 37-41)
As a result, on December 10, 1948, United Nations General Assembly voted to establish Universal Deceleration of Human Rights. Human Rights did not only call forbidding acts of torture, but also for preventing discrimination against sex, religion and many more. Specifically, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights concerning torture states that No one shall be subjected torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Thus, Universal Declaration of Human Rights to forbid torture, became a law that should be practiced by all countries of at least countries or at least they should try to protect its citizens form torture (Totten & Kleg, p 36).
Consequently, after the general idea of preventing torture in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, next important steps were taken to exterminate torture copletely. In 1972 Amnesty International launched a Campaingn for the Abolition of troture and publicized Report on Torture that was the beginning to let people know tht the time came to end troture or at least prevent torture to some degree. From that time on more than a million of the people signed a petiotion to united nation to abolish torture. The active action of so many people helped a lot to draft a decalration on the Protection of All Persons form Torture and Other Cruel, Inhman for Degrating treatment or punishment. Therefor, with the help of people the Declartation Treatment or Punishment was able to accomplish in the year of 1975 on December 9th (Air, p. 1-3).
However, before and after the Declaration other conventions, declarations, and codes started to evolve to end the institution of Torture. In 1949, during the Geneva Conventions the Law was created which stated the forbiddance of Cruel treatment and torture of person taking no active part in the hostiliting (Air, p. 29). Also, the Geneva Conventions indicates not to use himiliating and degrading treatment on people. Furthermore, the Geneva Conventions indicated under Article 99, tht no moral or phusical force should be used on a prisoner of war in order to meke him admit that he is quilty for what he was accused (Air, p. 29).
In addition to Geneva Conventions, the Internatioal Conenant on Civil and political Rights in the year of 1966 under article 7 states that no one should be tortured or punished in cruel, inhuman, or degading way. Also, UN Standard Minimum rules for the Tratment of Prosoners in the year of 1957 declares prohibition of torture.
Specifically, this organization prohibits corporal punishment, punishment by placing in a dark cell, and all cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments for disciplinary offences (Air, p. 31). Thus, prevention of torture began to state more specific points which prohibited torture. For Example, UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officals in 1979 declared some specific rules concerning torture. These rules concern enforcement officials. Specifically, the rule indicates that no law enforment officials can use torture or any cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment as a form of punishment. This UN Code declares that all officers of the law who exercise police powers cannot use any torture as a form of punishment (Air, p. 31). Thus, all those conventions, rules and codes specify who cnnot commit torture and how the torture cannot be committed.
Despite the fact that many codes, declarations, and conventions were adopted to prevent torture in the whole world, the most important one seems to be Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. This Decalration is most important because it was written down as a first real document that declares all specific points concerning prohibition of torture.