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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

London MEP demands end to use of torture

Green MEP for London, Jean Lambert, has marked the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture by calling upon governments across the world to adopt a zero tolerance approach to the use of torture and inhuman treatment.

Jean joined human rights campaigners for a special rally in Tralfalgar Square, organised by the London Guantanamo Campaign and the Kingston Peace Council, to raise awareness of the need to support torture victims and to remind the international community that torture is not justifiable under any circumstances.

Torture is a crime under international law.  Yet despite the ratification of numerous conventions designed to protect human rights, torture remains prevalent throughout the world.  Since 1998, June 26th has marked the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture with the aim of totally eradicating the use of torture [1].

Speaking at the rally, Jean, a member of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, said: “Nearly 25 years after the UN adopted an international convention against torture, it is timely to remember that prohibition against such barbaric atrocities is absolute and universal, including in times of war.  Events in the fight against terrorism and involving complicity in torture show that some western democracies still have far to go – action to prevent torture in the world must begin at home, but it doesn’t end there.

“I call upon governments across the world to prevent torture, investigate allegations and incidents of torture wherever they may appear in their jurisdiction and bring perpetrators to justice. States that have not yet done so must sign up to and implement the UN Convention against Torture.  Only by adopting a zero tolerance approach can we end torture for good.”

Notes to Editors

1. For further information on the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, please visit: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2011/sgsm13657.doc.htm