Torture is ineffective.

TORTURE IS NOT AN EFFECTIVE WAY TO OBTAIN INFORMATION

rn

In 1972, I was detained for three days before being expelled from South Africa. It was during the bad old days of Apartheid. From that experience, I can tell a few things about what North American and Western European countries are doing in the name of national security nowadays.

rn

Information given under duress is unreliable. I was not tortured. But extreme anxiety alone was enough psychological torture. My 7 years old daughter was waiting for me alone at home without knowing what happened to daddy: this factor alone was enough for me to say anything to get out. I am a coward, and suspect many people are. Meher Arar’s so called confession in a Syrian Prison was a good example. He is not a coward. And yet he was tortured and signed on a paper full of false information. If "national security" is so important, why do security apparatus’ continue to use such an unreliable method?

rn

Indefinite detention without charge, physical and psychological torture, etc. all sound exactly like what we heard during the days of oppressive regime under Apartheid in South Africa. The whole world condemned South Africa for that. National Security was the holy grail of the day. You could get away with anything for the cause of national security. Does that sound familiar? It does, because we hear the same language every day.

rn

Do they have to do all this in the name of freedom and democracy?

rn

Basic problem is: they never ask why. Of course, I condemn terrorism, indiscriminate killing of innocent people always has to be condemned. But if we don’t ask why they do such horrible things and address the root causes, many measures we take would be mere band-aid or Aspirin. We will never resolve the problem.

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