By: Marc Immanuel

Originally published on: 3 December 2016
Last updated on: 7 June 2017

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UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Since 1948, all forms of torture or abuse of any prisoners, anywhere in the world, are a violation of the 1948 UN-adopted Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 5:

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.”

GENEVA CONVENTIONS

Since 1949, all forms of torture or abuse of any prisoners within armed conflict, anywhere in the world, are a violation of the 1949 UN-ratified Geneva Conventions, Common Article 3 (in the case of armed conflict not of an international character) or of Articles 50, 51, 130, and/or 147, of Conventions 1, 2, 3, 4, respectively (in the case of armed conflict of an international character).

Under Geneva Conventions Protocol 1 (1977), Article 85 (5), any “grave breach” (serious violation) of the Geneva Conventions constitutes a ‘war crime’.

As of June 2013, Protocol 1 was ratified by 174 UN member states. Notable exceptions are: The United States, Israel, Iran, Pakistan, India, and Turkey.

The US Government has not ratified Protocol 1. However, in 1996, the US Government enacted into Title 18 of the US Code [the US federal criminal code (or penal code)] the US “War Crimes Act” (18 US Code § 2441). As does Protocol 1, likewise the 1996 War Crimes Act defines a ‘war crime’, legally, as: any “grave breach” of the Geneva Conventions (both inside and outside official US-jurisdiction territory).

DECLARATION ON THE PROTECTION OF ALL PERSONS FROM BEING SUBJECTED
TO TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT…

Since 1975, all forms of torture or abuse of any prisoners, anywhere in the world, are a violation of the 1975 UN-adopted Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Article 3:

“No state may permit or tolerate torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. Exceptional circumstances such as a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability, or any other public emergency may not be invoked as a justification of torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.”

INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS

Since 1976, all forms of torture or abuse of any prisoners, anywhere in the world, are a violation of the 1976 UN-ratified International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 7:

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment…”

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE

Since 1987, all forms of ‘torture’ [defined in Article 1 as: “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person”] or of any “other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture as defined in Article 1”, of any prisoners in any territory under the jurisdiction of any state party, are a violation of the 1987 UN-ratified Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (commonly known as the United Nations Convention against Torture).

The UN Convention against Torture was ratified by the United States in 1994 and embodied into the US federal criminal code as the US “Torture Act” (18 US Code § 2340A)

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Home Page:

CRIMES OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT:
From the Trail of Tears
to the Invasion of Iraq

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