Torture means exploiting the vulnerability of a person to break her or his will in order to obtain information, to humiliate or to systematically intimidate her or him or others. International human rights treaties, such as the 1984 Torture Convention, stress the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The prohibition of torture is absolute - and thus it is not allowed to deviate from it even in emergency situations. From a human rights point of view, considerations of relativizing the prohibition of torture are unacceptable. The fight against torture is not limited to its moral and legal condemnation but also includes preventive measures. By regularly and independently monitoring places of risk, such as detention facilities, psychiatric clinics or police stations, situations that involve the risk of torture shall be detected early enough as well as eliminated.
Dr. Petra Follmar-Otto
Head of Unit Human Rights Policies Germany/Europe
Phone: +49 30 25 93 59 - 27