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Name: Rahul Gabbita

Committee: GA-6 Legal


Agenda: Morality of using torture against criminals
Country: Kingdom of Belgium


Torture is appalling. Torture is shocking. Torture is sickening. Electric shocks, burning,
physical damage and sexual assaults - world has seen several of these inhuman and sinister acts
of torture perpetrated by the state against criminals in recent times. We need not think about
Auschwitz concentration camps or Japans Unit 731 of World War II. We need not think that
far. And no, it is not the evil Nazis alone who did those abominable crimes. The most
infamous one in recent times is the Guantanamo Bay incident involving American soldiers
and the Al Qaeda suspects. However, there are several such atrocities happening across the
globe in several countries.
Torture can be defined as the action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a
punishment. It has been used as a punishment, to intimidate or control people, to get
information or just to gratify sadistic impulses. It is also one of the most serious human right
violations. The Kingdom of Belgium condemns the use of torture and mistreatment and
believes that its use for whatever reasons is outrageous and shameful.
The Article 5 of United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states that
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment. and the Kingdom of Belgium abides by the said article by letter and spirit.
In a further substantiation of our philosophy to implement preventive measures against torture
and other cruel punishments, Belgium has signed two important treaties to protect its citizens
against torture:
The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
or Punishment
Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture

Despite our commitment to such lofty moral principles, there are a couple of aberrations that
occurred in recent times in Belgium. The detention of El Haski and the concern expressed by
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) are two rare incidents that show
Belgium in bad light by its high moral standards.
The Kingdom of Belgium affirms its adherence to the Article 5 of UDHR and would always
take an uncompromising stand on citizens human rights.
And finally to remind all the nations which rationalize that torture is acceptable in
circumstances of substantial risk and danger to national security, we cite an advice of the
attorney of Guantanamo victims to the U.S government
But I have some advice for the U.S. government going forward: if you don't want to "inflame the
street," don't commit acts that will inflame the street. Don't imprison men for a decade without
charge or trial; don't tell the world that Guantanamo inmates are "the worst of the worst," without
offering any evidence to prove it. Stick to the basics: Don't torture inmates; charge them and try
them in court. Show some respect for other cultures. Let rule of law be the law of the land.


Bibliography
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-cynamon/see-no-evil_1_b_2535816.html
http://strasbourgobservers.com/2012/09/27/el-haski-v-belgium-continued-debate-on-the-
inadmissibility-of-evidence-obtained-through-ill-treatment/\
http://www.ijrcenter.org/2012/09/28/in-el-haski-v-belgium-echr-finds-fair-trial-violation-where-
real-risk-that-evidence-was-obtained-through-torture-by-other-states/
http://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/policy/policy_areas/human_rights/specific_issues/torture_and
_other_practices/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/torture/
http://science.howstuffworks.com/five-forms-of-torture.htm#page=6
http://legal.un.org/avl/ha/catcidtp/catcidtp.html