Sunday, April 22, 2007

Torture on the rise in Russia

A study by Russian sociologists and human rights activists shows that ill-treatment and torture are endemic in the country's detention facilities. According to a new study published on March 28 by the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Committee Against Torture, a Russian human rights organization, every 25th person in Russia is tortured, beaten, or harassed by law enforcement officials each year. Russia is one of the allies of the United States in the War against Terrorism, what do you think the U.S. position should be on the growing violations of Human Rights in Russian detention facilities? To what extent will the U.S. ability to criticise Russian authorities be undermined by the fact that the U.S. itself has held captives at Guantanamo?

4 comments:

John_Madden said...

If the U.S. wants to maintain legitimacy, then it will follow international Human Rights laws and treat Russia under the same scrutiny as any other violator of that law. I mean of course the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

It may seem unbelievable, but there are people, including scholars, whom have argued that the need for information outweighs the moral and ethical arguments against torture. Proponents use a 'ticking time bomb' argument for their belief. Meaning, in extreme cases it may be true that not to use torture would be worse than using it. Even if we accept this as legitimate, then there is no way Russia has so many of these 'ticking time bomb' scenarios that they could justify this excessive use of torture.

Malika said...

I think that the fact that such reports could have a significant effect on how immigration law also functions. For example, it is very clear that the local police are also involved in such acts of torture. As such, there seems to be a significant argument stating that such acts are taking place at the acquiescence of the government. There seems to be a significant impact therefore, that would be felt on the cases of CAT applicants hailing from Russia.

YON said...

I believe that this is an issue that must be dealt with internally by the Russian Government it is not our job. The country is one of the most corrupt nations in the world. After the collapse of the former Soviet government the state still provide massive amounts of public goods for the people until the new government rose and established a hold on power. The state gave little help to the people and because of this they have turned to organized crime and the Russian Mob. The Country is so corrupt. As for them being one of our allies in the war on terror, I welcome their support. If the Russian Government wants to support the U.S. should not stop them. The International Human Rights Organizations will help the Russians deal with this issue not us. In respect to the prisoners in Cuba, that is to ensure our security. They are there for a reason and are released if they are found to be uninvolved in any potential harm to the United States. Therefore I believe that it is o.k.

HeWhoWould said...

Yon has described Russia to a tee but I have to add one thing. I don’t understand how this is shocking news. Russia from the beginning of the Soviet Union has had massive human rights issues. The problem always arises in Russian history is that during most of the soviet period documentation that held Russia in a negative light was never printed or recorded, remember the Russian gulags. Russia has a history of violence against its own people. Also Russia’s constitution is only 10 years old and Russia as a hole is having issues holding things together. One more thing I should point out is that the US is following Russia’s path. Look at 1994 and 1999 in Russia history when Russia invades Chechnya. One of the many reasons that Russia invades Chechnya in 1999 is to prevent Terrorism bombing that accorded in Moscow by Chechen fighters. This event is very similar to the US invasion of Iraq to stop terrorism. Can the US tell Russia to stop its human rights abuses when it follows the same path or should punish Russia for its human rights abuses when Russia’s military has a moto….. “We will have Vanya on duty at the south gate unlocked. He should be passed out by 9pm so don’t take our tanks and don’t have them back by 10 am for the general inspection. I think not the US has no credibility to say stop your actions.