13 February 2007


Today I stumbled across a fact that surprised me: England outlawed torture in 1640. But I suppose it isn't that surprising as they are complicit in the U.S. government's torture of "enemy combatants."

A map of countries that have ratified the United Nations Convention Against Torture shows that the vast majority (142) of countries, England and the U.S. included, have ratified the convention.

The definition of torture according to the convention is:

Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

I don't see any gray area here.

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