Picture from Radio Times.com
Channel 4 in the UK are showing a season of programmes on the use of torture this week. Starting tonight with Is Torture a Good Idea? and Torture: The Guantánamo Guidebook. The latter programme is (unfairly?) being referred to in some quarters as a “reality tv” show. From the Guardian tv listing:
…a re-creation of conditions in Guantánamo Bay, as seven volunteers are submitted to the interrogation techniques commonly practised at the camp — all endorsed by the US government* — to determine whether these treatments constitute a denial of human rights. The subjects, some of whom began as a supporter of the process, are put through painful stress positions, sleep deprivation, religious and sexual humiliation, enforced nudity, extremes of temperature and “non-injurious physical contact”, with disturbing results.
* And by the British government.
A man who I respect enormously, John McCarthy, has written a review of the programme in the print issue of this week’s Radio Times. It doesn’t appear to be online so I’ll just quote from the final paragraphs:
I’ve been blindfolded, chained, beaten, not knowing when or why or what will happen next. The people holding me hostage in Lebanon felt that their cause and security was more important than my human rights.
Isn’t that the excuse we hear for the regime at Guantánamo – that it’s all justified as part of the “war on terror”? Do we really want to set our standards even lower than those of a group widely condemned as barborous and inhumane terrorists? I don’t think so.
In destroying the human rights of others, we risk losing our own.
- ‘Nobody is talking’
- How real is the terrorism threat today?
- Terror cases ‘rarely successful’
- A successful trial
- Pass laws have no place in Britain
- On the road to tyranny
Blogs from the sidebar that focus on politics rather than burying their heads in the sand:
What can you do?
- Email your MP – the details here and here. If like me you have a dinosaur of an MP, holding his safe Tory seat since the year dot and who hasn’t yet bothered with this newfangled machin called e-mail, let alone a website, then you can write to him or her. Details to be found in the previous links.
- Join or donate to Amnesty.
- Set up your own blog.