From Amnesty International:
139 countries and several international criminal tribunals agree.
In response to an article published in The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald newspapers today, Amnesty International restates its view that torture is never justifiable. Amnesty International absolutely deplores any suggestion that torture or other ill-treatment is acceptable for any reason, or at any time. Amnesty International believes that to flout the rule of law, to torture, to humiliate, is to undermine long-term security. Respect for human rights is the route to security, not the obstacle to it.
“It is absolutely astonishing and appalling that anybody would justify the use of torture on moral, pragmatic or any other grounds.” Amnesty International Australia’s spokesperson, Nicole Bieske said. “The prohibition against torture at all times and in all circumstances is not negotiable”.
Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment are universally punishable crimes. In all of the ad hoc international criminal tribunals established to date, not one has accepted any justifications for torture or ill-treatment, nor have they found that torturing or otherwise ill-treating certain people is anything less than a crime.
Furthermore, it is generally accepted that torture does not produce the desired result of the perpetrator – quite the opposite. People who are tortured will give any answer to stop it continuing.
Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment are absolutely prohibited in all circumstances under international law. This fact is irrespective of the guilt or innocence of the person subjected to it. This means that there is never any justification for the use of torture.
Governments around the world have recognised and committed to this prohibition. One hundred and thirty nine countries have signed up to the Convention Against Torture which explicitly states that torture, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, is never acceptable or justifiable.