The law is crystal clear: torture can never be used, including during conflict
Bunia – 28 June 2016: On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) in Ituri organized a conference that brought together local human rights organizations, civil society representatives and military authorities.
Thethemefor World Torture Day 2016 was “From Horror to Healing”. However, the UNJHRO chose to focus on understanding of the definition of torture as supplied in the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted in 1984.
Unlike inhuman treatment, torture any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is inflicted for the purpose of obtaining information or a confession. Torture can thus be is inflicted by or at the instigation of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity, but also by armed groups, as provided for by the international humanitarian law.
For the civil society representative, obtaining a confession at the expense of obtaining evidence is one of the reasons for torture. Also, he called for continuing training and education for State agents and civil society members so as to better prevent, document and punish acts of torture committed in Ituri.
The Congolese law stipulates that the human person is sacred and that the responsibility to protect the human person rests with the State, recalled the representative of the Armed Forces of the DR Congo (FARDC). The FARDC, he indicated, have tools and mechanisms to prevent torture and to prosecute those who commit such acts. He also encouraged the population to denounce any act of torture that would be committed.
Similarly, the Director of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in Ituri, Raphael Yolo Fils, exhorted civil society members to support the process of judicial democracy so that victims of torture can have access to justice without fear of reprisals and with confidence that all persons are equal in the eyes of the law. He concluded this conference by recalling these words of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon : “the law is crystal clear: torture can never be used, […] including during conflict.”
Traduction : Tom Shibangu