Monday, July 9, 2007

Torture in the News

Lead Story

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. James Taranto warns that granting constitutional protections to Gitmo detainees will actually trample on constitutional rights. (Honest to God, I'm not making this up.) (Hat tip to Comments from Left Field.)

Other News

"Today, you will learn how to torture." Zimbabwean graduate of Robert Mugabe's torture academy recounts his training.

Disappeared. The Kenya-based Muslim Human Rights Forum reports that nearly 80 refugees from the Somalian war are being secretly held in Ethiopia and subject to torture. For a series of films on CIA rendition in the Horn of Africa, click here. (Hat tip to Dear Kitty. Some blog.)

Torture in your own back yard. Human rights coalition in Chicago calls for an end to torture by city cops. Chicago Reader reporter John Conroy chronicles the infliction of torture on criminal suspects here as well as in his book Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People: The Dynamics of Torture. It's a sordid, sorry story. Kudos to Conroy for tracking it for almost two decades.

Ugandan blight. The Gulu African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims reports that it treated nearly 1,200 torture survivors during the past year (May 2006-June 2007). Many of them suffer from PTSD.

A chip off the old ax-block. Torture charges against Charles McArthur Emmanuel, son of former Liberian president Charles Taylor, have been upheld by a US federal judge. Emmanuel is accused of torturing a political detainee in 2002. In the meantime, Papa Charles is on trial in The Hague for crimes against humanity.

Justice delayed. Christian von Wernich, Roman Catholic priest and one-time chaplain to Argentine cops, went on trial late last week on charges of "primary complicity" in seven murders and dozens of tortures and abductions during Argentina's "time of trouble" (1976-83).