for the Prevention of Torture (1983)
Torture is a fundamental violation of human rights, condemned
by the General Assembly of the United Nations as an offense to
human dignity and prohibited under national and international
Yet torture persists, daily and across the globe. In Amnesty
International's experience, legislative prohibition is not enough.
Immediate steps are needed to confront torture and other cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment wherever they occur
and to eradicate them totally.
Amnesty International calls on all governments to implement
the following ..-Point Program for the Prevention of Torture.
It invites concerned individuals and organizations to join in
promoting the program. Amnesty International 'believes that the
implementation of these measures is a positive indication of a
government's commitment to abolish torture and to work for its
1. OFFICIAL CONDEMNATION OF TORTURE
The highest authorities of every country should demonstrate
their total opposition to torture. They should make clear to all
law enforcement personnel that torture will not be tolerated under
2. LIMITS ON INCOMMUNICADO DETENTION
Torture often takes place while the victims are held incommunicado-
unable to contact people outside who could help them or find out
what is happening to them. Governments should adopt safeguards
to ensure that incommunicado detention does not become an opportunity
for torture. It is vital that all prisoners be brought before
a judicial authority promptly after being taken into custody and
that relatives, lawyers and doctors have prompt and regular access
3. NO SECRET DETENTION
In some countries torture takes place in secret centers, often
after the victims are made to "disappear." Governments
should ensure that prisoners are held in publicly recognized places,
and that accurate information about their whereabouts is made
available to relatives and lawyers.
4. SAFEGUARDS DURING INTERROGATION AND CUSTODY
Governments should keep procedures for detention and interrogation
under regular review. All prisoners should be promptly told of
their rights, including the right to lodge complaints about their
treatment. There should be regular independent visits of inspection
to places of detention. An important safeguard against torture
would be the separation of authorities responsible for detention
from those in charge of interrogation.
5. INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION OF REPORTS OF TORTURE
Governments should ensure that all complaints and reports
of torture are impartially and effectively investigated. The methods
and findings of such investigations should be made public. Complainants
and witnesses should be protected from intimidation.
e. NO USE OF STATEMENTS EXTRACTED UNDER TORTURE
Governments should ensure that confessions or other evidence
obtained through torture may never be invoked in legal proceedings.
7. PROHIBITION OF TORTURE IN LAW
Governments should ensure that acts of torture are punishable
offenses under the criminal law. In accordance with international
law, the prohibition of torture must not be suspended under any
circumstances, including states of war or other public emergency.
8. PROSECUTION OF ALLEGED TORTURERS
Those responsible for torture should be brought to justice.
This principle should apply wherever they happen to be, wherever
the crime was committed and whatever the nationality of the perpetrators
or victims. There should be no "safe haven" for torturers.
9. TRAINING PROCEDURES
It should be made clear during the training of all officials
involved in the custody, interrogation or treatment of prisoners
that torture is a criminal act. They should be instructed that
they are obliged to refuse to obey any order to torture.
10. COMPENSATION AND REHABILITATION
Victims of torture and their dependents should be entitled
to obtain financial compensation. Victims should be provided with
appropriate medical care and rehabilitation.
11. INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
Governments should use all available channels to intercede
with governments accused of torture. Inter-governmental mechanisms
should be established and used to investigate reports of torture
urgently an to take effective action against it. Governments should
ensure that military, security or police transfers or training
do not facilitate the. practice of torture.
12. RATIFICATION OF INTERNATIONAL INSTRUMENTS
All governments should ratify international instruments containing
safeguards and remedies against torture, including the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its Optional Protocol
which provides for individual complaints.