Amnesty International. The Human Rights Story by J. Power (Auth.)

By J. Power (Auth.)

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Additional info for Amnesty International. The Human Rights Story

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Some children have been orphaned because their parents were 39 Li-Li The arrest of a family in liast Germany. In one particular instance an architect and his wife had tried to escape with their two children to Austria via Chechoslovakia. They were caught and sentenced to three years in prison. The children ire re taken away and killed or abducted. Some governments have registered the orphans under false names and birth dates to prevent them being traced by next-of-kin. There are instances where women prisoners give birth in prison and the babies are immediately removed and never seen again.

Amin's reign of terror lasted from his coup in 1971 until he was finally deposed by invading Tan^anian troops in 1979. Amnesty's British section cringed British firms for supplying equipment that was used by Amin's police, responsible for torturing thousands of detainees. It is by n o means a blanket condemnation on the issue of selling arms. Nevertheless, its implications are clear, and have been made plain in El Salvador and Guatemala: Amnesty is going to use its muscle to try and stop governments sending military and police equipment, and the advisers to go with them, whenever are to be used by governments to detain prisoners of conscience, to carry out torture and executions, or to repress innocent and defenseless people.

Indeed the E u r o p e a n imperial powers did much to dampen its use in the many parts of the world where they had their empires. T o r t u r e , however, returned with a vengeance during the twentieth century. It has reached a scale that dwarfs even the darkest Middle Ages. In the civil war that followed the Russian revolution, torture was used sporadically and unsystematically. Mussolini's fascists became the first government in the twentieth century to make torture an official policy of state.

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