Interview

A very disturbing situation

The torture and abuse of prisoners have become commonplace over the years. How did these excesses come about? A recently published report takes up this topic.

Content: Because of their vulnerability, prisoners are more liable to suffer from acts of torture or ill-treatment, despite the existence of several international laws forbidding them. Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (ACAT), a human rights NGO, campaigns for the abolition of torture and the death penalty around the world. In June 2021, ACAT-France published its sixth report Un monde tortionnaire, which highlights worldwide complacency towards the use of torture and calls on governments to honour their international obligations.

Eric Mirguet, ACAT-France’s programme director and defence lawyer, gave his perspective about the situation of French prisons in this report. Prison Insider asked him three questions.

For twenty years now, the fight against terrorism seems to justify all sorts of abuses, including the most serious ones.

ACAT-France decided to push the fight against the eradication of torture further.

We often assume that only political prisoners or terrorists are subjected to torture, but this is not the case.

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