Torture & CIDT

Torture & Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment

Torture is a direct attack against the dignity and integrity of human beings. The prohibition of torture is one of the few absolute and non-derogable human rights. In the present context of counter-terrorism measures, this absolute prohibition is for the first time seriously challenged even in democratic countries. That is why the fight against torture has become again one of the most controversial issues within the international community.

The LBI of Fundamental and Human Rights chose to focus on the thematic area of torture after Manfred Nowak was nominated as UN Special Rapporteur on Torture in 2004; he held this mandate until October 2010. Besides active support during the six years of this mandate, the HuDi Team has conducted extensive research on the phenomenon of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. Examples include work on a commentary on Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights and a comprehensive article-by-article commentary on the UN Convention against Torture (CAT).

The focus on preventing torture was extended beyond the mandate of the Special Rapporteur by implementation of the “Atlas of Torture” project as well as other projects dealing with the use of force by the police, investigation and documentation of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and the establishment of National Preventive Mechanisms in different countries.