24 June 2009

june 26, international day against torture

"...The practice of torture remains the central defect in protecting, promoting and fulfilling human rights in the region. From the standpoint of state responsibility to protect, promote and fulfil human rights, the fight against torture is an important component of human rights work. In essence, human rights work is engaging in a dialogue with the state, reminding the state of its responsibility to serve the people and identifying its failures in meeting people's demands.

In most of Asia, states notoriously attempt to reduce the space for this dialogue by instilling fear, largely through law enforcement agencies. By using law enforcement agencies as a tool in this way, the state engages in a counter dialogue with citizens, reminding them it has the means to silence dissent and enforce its writ...

Working against torture is thus crucial to enlarging the space for democratic dialogue. Human rights work in the region and globally has yet to appreciate this fact..."


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