with speaking notes - Amnesty International Canada

Who are we?
• Global movement of people fighting injustice
and promoting human rights
• Over 3 million members worldwide
• Tens of thousands of supporters across
• Work to end human rights abuses at home
and around the world
Why us?
• Launched 2 year campaign to Stop Torture on
May 13, 2014
• Campaigning against torture is in our DNA
• 50+ years of experience
• Successes include the adoption of the
Convention against Torture
• We have the knowledge, expertise, and street
cred to really make a difference
Why now?
• Torture is never justified—never—not under
any circumstances
• Post 9/11 some governments began to justify
torture in the interest of public safety and
national security
• Torture is on the rise
• 141 countries tortured in past 5 years
• Time to Stop Torture once and for all
What is torture?
• Severe physical or mental pain or suffering
• Intentional
• State authorities directly involved or knew and
failed to prevent it
• Done for a specific purpose
Why torture?
• To make people talk
• To make people stay silent
• To punish
• To show results
• To extort money
• Countless other reasons…
How to stop torture
• Torture thrives behind closed doors
• Throw open the doors
• Make sure governments put in place measures
to make sure that the spaces and conditions
where torture occurs aren’t present—these
are called safeguards
What are safeguards?
• Documenting arrests and prison transfers (make sure
people aren’t held incommunicado)
• Having lawyers present at interrogations
• Granting prisoners access to independent healthcare
professionals and services
• Refusing to use information obtained under torture in
court cases
What’s our focus?
• Sound the alarm bell and raise awareness
• Stop Torture everywhere it occurs
• Focus on: Mexico, Philippines, Morocco,
Nigeria, and Uzbekistan
• And Canada too!
• End Canada`s complicity in torture
• Call for Canada to join the Optional Protocol
to the Convention Against torture
• Tortured to sign false
statements used as
evidence to prosecute—to
show Mexico’s crime
fighting ‘success’
• Claudia Medina—
arrested, tortured,
released, lodged
complaint, not seen
• Torture thrives because police
can get away with it
• Alfreda—arrested, tortured,
jailed—and waiting for a fair
trial and an investigation into
her torture allegations
• Courts accept
confessions made after
someone has been
• Ali Aarrass—arrested,
extradited to Morocco
despite warnings he
would be tortured, and
he was tortured—and
should be released
• Forced confessions used in court
• Moses—arrested at age 16, tortured,
sentenced to death—for allegedly stealing 3
cell phones
• Courts rely on forced confessions
• Dilorom—prisoner of conscience, sought
asylum in Australia, returned home amidst
assurances she would be safe, was arrested at
airport, tortured, and remains in jail
What can you do?
• Pledge to Stop Torture at
• Sign our e-actions
• Collect petition signatures
• Write letters
• Stage a photo action and share the photos on
social media
• This one visually shows how you can be the
barrier between the torturer and the tortured
• Spread the word on social media!
• Facebook:
• Twitter: @AmnestyNow
• #StopTorture
• #AmnestyCanada
Get involved locally!
• Join your local Amnesty community group
• Join a Stop Torture Street Team and take the
campaign to local festivals, concerts, markets,
• Want to get involved but not sure where you
“fit” in this campaign? Contact
[email protected]
Together we can Stop Torture!
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