UNNECESSARY and disproportionate use of violence and resorts to abuse and torture are not only a painful affront to human dignity, but call in question basic principles of the culture of rule of law, according to Ombudswoman and Human Rights Commissioner Eliza Savvidou.
“Recent cases of arbitrary police violence and experiences witnessed through my office demonstrate that the practices and attitudes that generate incidents of cruel and degrading treatment have unfortunately not disappeared,” Savvidou said in a statement on the occasion of the International Day Against Torture.
“Such incidents are extremely serious and worrying because they not only expose a lack of professionalism in relation to the actions of state organs, but irregular or even delinquent behaviour which directly effects human dignity and the principals of a well governed state.”
Savvidou noted that the risks of arbitrariness and abuse of persons seemed to be more obvious in places of detention such as prisons, police cells and immigration detention facilities, where there is reduced exposure and special powers.
“The action of the Independent Authority for Prevention of Torture aims to safeguard human dignity under conditions of freedom and minimise abuse incidents by improving the conditions of detention and the mitigation of the factors that favour and reproduce such incidents.”
International Day Against Torture was established on June 26, the date on which in 1987 the International Convention against Torture, and in 1948 the UN Charter were signed.