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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Torture rampant despite ban

UNITED NATIONS — Torture is still practiced in countries that signed the Convention Against Torture 26 years ago, the United Nations said Tuesday.

Claudio Grossman, chairman of a U.N. committee monitoring implementation of the convention, said the world has yet to achieve the goal of eradicating torture and inhuman treatment — as called for in the agreement signed in 1984.

“”The absolute prohibition of torture … is not yet a reality in many states that have ratified the convention,”” Grossman said on the fringes of meetings with heads of human-rights organizations at U.N. headquarters in New York.

The convention bans torture under any circumstances, including during wartime or internal political conflicts. The document bans deportation to countries where deportees would face the risk of torture and prohibits use of torture to extract information in legal proceedings.

The committee against torture studied reports each year from countries that are parties to the convention, on their implementation of the convention. Grossman said some 32 countries of the 147 signatories have yet to submit their reports for 2010.

The committee has expressed “”regrets”” that 64 of the 147 parties have rejected its competence to examine individual complaints alleging torture.

Individual complaints are an “”important tool”” for gauging the implementation of the convention, allowing torture victims to present their cases before the international community, Grossman said. He called those complaints “”real-life situations.””

The committee this year determined that deportation of people to countries where they risk sexual violence amounts to a breach of the convention. Grossman said the decision was taken because the convention against torture is a case of evolving jurisprudence.

Grossman is dean of the American University Washington College of Law and a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

The signers of the convention include the five U.N. Security Council permanent members: the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain.

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