I found an interesting article today by Human Rights Watch; which asks an important question for us English, French and Germans directly, and others as well. If our countries do not directly participate in torture but benefit from it, are we just as blameworthy?
Judith Sunderland thinks so, and I am of the same opinion.
By we Europeans directly benefiting from torture, we are in essence creating a market for it. One may ask how do we actually benefit from it when there are numerous international regulations to stop these benefits from occurring? Well, the regulations to stop our countries from using torture evidence in Court are negated by the fact that the burden of proof is put on the defendant (which raises the question of the implications on the right for the prosecution to prove allegations especially when they are using this so-called legitimate evidence.) Hence we are left with the state using this illegal evidence.
So how do our governments justify using this information? Well lo and behold my favorite phrase of the prevention of terrorism gets used. So yes, us Europeans should be proud of our Governments, we have a firm stance to stop terrorism in our countries, and then we make sure to send a message that its OK for others to do it, as we benefit from it in the name of counter terrorism. So to go back to the title of this blog entry, our message pushes the first dynamo over, and when the rest of them fall, we will only have ourselves to blame.