Torture, cruelty still cry out for a decent response | Bangkok Post: opinion

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Torture, cruelty still cry out for a decent response

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Torture and cruel treatment rear their ugly heads worldwide as a pervasive phenomenon. Today's world is all the more challenging where technology is used not only to cause harm but also to mask or hide the scars of such harm. 

The global community has thus reacted strongly by classifying such practices as international crimes and has adopted international treaties and mechanisms to outlaw them.

The primary treaty on this front is the UN-backed Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment (CAT) 1984 which has been ratified by the majority of countries, including Thailand. This instrument prohibits torture and related practices and obliges states to criminalise them. It provides a definition of torture, thus inviting the adoption of laws at the national level to forbid acts on the part of the authorities (or their agents) which inflict severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, to extract a confession or with a view to punishment, intimidation or discrimination.

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