Torture is useless

BRING OMER KHADR BACK TO CANADA

rn

I think that the United Church is doing the right thing asking people to urge the Federal government to request the U.S. to send Omer Khadr back to Canada. The Guantanamo Bay military justice process is so flawed that few people expects that justice will ever been done.

rn

The military judge at Guantanamo Bay was right when he threw out the evidence obtained under duress. It gives me a ray of hope to hear this news from a questionable process which many people dismiss as a sham designed to convict the accused rather than to render justice.

rn

Another strong argument against obtaining information by torture is: it is unreliable. (The Economist, July 19 Special Report on al-Qaeda, p.10) It is no use as a information gathering method. Many people would say anything just to get out of agony. I know this: I was there. No, I was not tortured, but it was enough to guess what is likely to happen in the mind of a person, who is being tortured.

rn

In 1971 during Apartheid days, I was detained at Johannesburg Airport (then was called Jan Smuts Airport) for three days. At a passport control counter, the officer looked at my passport and at some kind of a list, and asked me to follow him. I was taken to a bed room in a building adjacent to the terminal and told me to wait. He locked the room and went away. Nobody came back for three days except a scared looking black man who brought stale food from time to time. There was a washroom. There was a window but it faced a brick wall. It was not a prison cell, but it could have been albeit a comfortable one. No radio, no TV, nor anything to read.

rn

I had no idea why I was kept there. I went mad. I was most worried about my seven year old daughter who was waiting for me to make supper at home. Her mother went to a conference and I was to look after her from that afternoon. I would have said anything just to get out. I am not a coward but not brave enough to withstand such a mental torture. I guess most of the ordinary people are like me. So, what’s the point of forcing people to say anything? They would say anything just to get out of the situation. Torture is not only illegal, but it is useless.

rn

After three days, I was told to pick up my car parked at a friend’s house and get out of South Africa in two hours.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.