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New Internationalist

Torture - the deepest scar

Undoubtedly acts of torture are shocking. How could anyone extract information from others by breaking their back or boiling them alive? But the real horror exposed by this program is not so much the acts themselves but the complicity of Western Governments - and the leaders and officials in them who hold themselves out as supporters of human rights - in obtaining information through such methods. Down in The Grave in Syria and the countless other cells where thousands have been sent for forceful questioning, we come face-to-face with some inescapable realizations - that the war on terror is a war of terror, and that our security is being traded for the insecurity of an unacceptably high number of others.

  • Stephen Grey, author of Ghost Plane, tracks both the private executive jet fleet that the US uses to ferry suspects in the war on terror to torture chambers around the world, and its implications for us all.
  • Canadian Abdullah Almalki - who spent 482 days of torture in a Syrian torture centre - relates the impact that torture has had on his life and that of his family.
  • Author and activist, Kerry Pither sets out how innocent Canadian citizens are being tortured abroad with the knowledge and support of their Government.
  • Andrea Berg, the Central Asian researcher for Human Rights Watch, reveals the findings of a report about the world's most notorious torturers - the Uzbekistan Government and its authorities - that is about to be presented to the United Nations Committee Against Torture.
  • And Stephen Grey outlines the lengths to which British authorities have gone in order to continue receiving information obtained from Uzbek torture.

The CD Lumiere performed by Bob Brozman proves a perfect sound for today's program as it moves musical influences effortlessly between cultures and countries: a great thing for music, but not so good for the many thousands who are being moved around the world for interrogation in the war on terror.

Listen online now (click the play button left) or download the program (click this link)

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