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Архіви Форумів Майдану

Обосновано ли применение пыток?

01/10/2003 | line305b
Интересная статья из Экономиста: вопрос - "можно ли обосновать применение пыток для получения информации об акциях, которые могут грозить жизни многих людей" - как в случае с терроризмом например. Предполагается, что практика несовместима с демократией. С другой стороны, вероятны ситуации "целесообразности применения" в "критических ситуациях". В тоже время, если сломать табу на применение пыток для "критических ситуаций", соотвествующие организации очень легко практику распространят. Кроме того, запрет на пытку - это как бы один из моральных постулатов возвышенности демократий - что может потерять смысл с разрешением пыток, низвести на уровень "варварства" и т.д. Что думает народ по поводу дебата - как в рамках демократии в общем, так и в рамках украинской конкретики?


Is torture ever justified?
Jan 9th 2003
From The Economist print edition

Even faced with monstrous terrorism, democracies break the taboo at their peril

HOW can democratic governments best fight an enemy like al-Qaeda, whose operatives are encouraged to outdo each other in the barbarity of their attacks? In ways that uphold the values democracies stand for, is the answer one would like to give. Yet faced with the sort of threat al-Qaeda poses, this line is not always so easy to draw.

Western democracies have long upheld the international ban on torture, and have publicly criticised other governments that violate it. The Bush administration has lambasted the Iraqi regime for torturing its opponents and has issued reports about similar abuses in other countries. But in its efforts to defeat al-Qaeda, is the American government itself now quietly sanctioning the use of some forms of torture?

Ends and means

A detailed account of American interrogation methods appeared recently in the Washington Post. The article quoted American officials who describe beatings and the withholding of medical treatment, as well as “stress and duress” techniques, such as sleep deprivation, hooding, and forcing prisoners to hold awkward positions for hours. The officials also say they sent alleged terrorists and lists of questions to countries known for far harsher interrogation techniques.

Although well documented, the account has produced official denials and only a desultory discussion among American commentators, who seem no keener to discuss the subject than the British and French were when the issue arose in Northern Ireland and Algiers. This is understandable. But to evade the question is hypocritical and irresponsible. By speaking anonymously about their interrogation methods, the officials seem to be asking for help: how far should they go in trying to elicit information to stave off another large-scale terrorist attack? They deserve an answer.

One of the few commentators brave enough to take this question seriously has been Alan Dershowitz, a leading American criminal-defence lawyer. He poses the “ticking-bomb” scenario. Suppose you know that there is a bomb about to go off which could claim thousands of victims. You have good reason to believe that a prisoner knows where it is, and that torture may force him to tell. Would you allow him to be tortured? Most people, however reluctantly, answer “yes”.

After September 11th, this is no longer just a theoretical prospect. This week in London, anti-terrorist police arrested a group of men, possibly members or supporters of al-Qaeda, who had apparently been manufacturing ricin, a deadly toxin. If that is so, the authorities will want to know how much was made, where it now is, and who else was involved. Possibly, lives will depend on finding the answers. In circumstances such as those, one can readily imagine intelligence officers quietly saying, “If only we could really lean on these people.”

Mr Dershowitz argues that the new threats do justify a limited use of non-lethal torture in extreme cases, and proposes that judges be able to issue “torture warrants”. His solution is the wrong one. But he is right that the threat of more catastrophic terrorist attacks creates genuine dilemmas.

A first point is that the “ticking-bomb” scenario is not as clarifying as one would wish. If torture is to be allowed, then how much cruelty would be permitted? Would threats against the prisoner's family be all right? His neighbours? His country? Even the extreme circumstance of a “ticking-bomb” threat offers no clear guidance to how far you might go.

But the bigger problem is with Mr Dershowitz's solution. Even if you allow, as many will not, that torture might be justified under the most extreme circumstances, it would be difficult to confine its use to those very rare cases. Any system that allowed torture in tightly controlled situations would risk eroding into wider use. To legalise is to encourage. Israel tried to limit use of physical coercion to extreme cases, but its security forces have ended up using such methods far more widely than was initially foreseen.

If America were to sanction torture, to begin with in extremely rare cases, there might be some immediate gains in security. Much as one would like to believe that torture never succeeds in extracting vital information, history says otherwise. But, for the democratic West, any such gains would be outweighed by greater harm. The prohibition against torture expresses one of the West's most powerful taboos—and some taboos (like that against the use of nuclear weapons) are worth preserving even at heavy cost. Though many authoritarian regimes use torture, not one of even these openly admits it. A decision by the United States to employ some forms of torture, no matter how limited the circumstances, would shatter the taboo. The morale of the West in what may be a long war against terrorism would be gravely set back: to stay strong, the liberal democracies need to be certain that they are better than their enemies.

George Bush has said that the fight against al-Qaeda is a battle for hearts and minds, not just a matter of military power. Though critics focus on his sabre-rattling, Mr Bush has been consistent in his claims to be defending human rights and democracy, and he has persisted in reaching out to Muslims, though he rarely gets credit for this. To keep the moral high ground, he needs to bolster public disavowals of torture by specifying the methods American interrogators can employ, by enforcing the limits, and by desisting from handing prisoners over to less scrupulous allies.

Choosing sides

There is room for discussion about what the limits should be. Given the gravity of the terrorist threat, vigorous questioning short of torture—prolonged interrogations, mild sleep deprivation, perhaps the use of truth serum—might be justified in some cases. Such tactics have ambiguous standing in international law. Some are occasionally employed against ordinary criminals. But there is a line which democracies cross at their peril: threatening or inflicting actual bodily harm. On one side of that line stand societies sure of their civilised values. That is the side America and its allies must choose.


  • 2003.01.10 | Mary


    Тортури суперечать презумпції невинності.
    Що коли людина, терорист вона, чи ні не володіє інформацією - які тортури можуть бути виправданими?
    Ну і ваше зауваження щодо зловживань, які будуть у 99,9%, якщо не всі 100 - говорить саме за себе.
  • 2003.01.10 | litovka

    Re: Обосновано ли применение пыток?

    Вопрос почти риторический...Ответ на него сродни ответу на вопрос;"Для всех ли государств мира, лучшей моделью государственного устройства является Демократия?
  • 2003.01.10 | Мир жесток

    Да обосновано!

    Да не применяй менты пыток, расскрываемость преступлений у нас была бы не больше 3-5 %. Как например доказывать даже мелкие преступления: кражи, грабеж, наркотики. Поставьте себя на место следователя и все поймете. А про террористов и говорить нечего ...
    згорнути/розгорнути гілку відповідей
    • 2003.01.10 | Vlad

      Re: Да обосновано!

      А ти спробував уявити, что якомусь міліцейському начальнику прийде в голову, что ти володієш якоюсь інформацією і тебе будуть декілька діб мордувати "вибиваючи" цю інформацію. Ти хочеш, щоб це було конкретно з тобою ?
      А що до розкриття, то згадай приклад Чикотило. Поки його шукали, то декількох людей розстріляли і вони "визнали" свою вину.
    • 2003.01.10 | Адвокат ...

      І Єжов, і Абакумов, і Бєрія,-- всі з Вам згідні!

      Мир жесток пише:
      > Да не применяй менты пыток, расскрываемость преступлений у нас была бы не больше 3-5 %. Как например доказывать даже мелкие преступления: кражи, грабеж, наркотики. Поставьте себя на место следователя и все поймете.

      І Вишинскій, хоч і прокуратор,-- теж!

      > А про террористов и говорить нечего ...

      А яких вони терористів викривали! Один Мєйєрхольд Всєволод чого був вартий, затятий був терорист. ;): Але,-- все визнав!

      От і "вбивця" Іґоря Алєксандрова,-- теж,-- все визнав...

      Коротше кажучі,-- і адвокат Медвед-чук, і женераль Мар-чук, і прокуратор Піс(к)ун, а першим,-- ґенераль Смірнов,-- згідні із Вами та Вашими "отцамі духовнимі",-- Єжовим, Абакумовим та Бєрія. ;):
      згорнути/розгорнути гілку відповідей
      • 2003.01.12 | Мир жесток

        А как расследовать если пытки будут запрещены. Ваши предложения?

        згорнути/розгорнути гілку відповідей
        • 2003.01.12 | Englishman

          Что значит если? Они уже ЗАПРЕЩЕНЫ.

          А если выяснится, что какая-то гнида применяла пытки, в нарушение закона, она в даже у нас (!) должна отвечать по закону.
          згорнути/розгорнути гілку відповідей
          • 2003.01.12 | Адвокат ...

            Онукам Єжова та Бєрія,-- те не відомо.

            Їм одразу після народження оттяли ті ділянки мозку, де може ся зберігати така інформація.

            Неохвітам,-- видаляють ті ділянки відразу, як беруть на службу.
        • 2003.01.12 | Адвокат ...

          Мої пропозиції:

          до Вас та таких як Ви,-- "фахівців",-- негайно кинути імітацію діяльности у сферах, що ніяк ся не вміщують у ваших порожніх макітрах.
          Не знаєте, як розслідувати злочини без "допомоги" тортур,-- шукайте собі іншої праці.
          згорнути/розгорнути гілку відповідей
          • 2003.01.12 | Мир жесток

            Это демагогия а не "пропозиції" (-)

            згорнути/розгорнути гілку відповідей
            • 2003.01.12 | Адвокат ...

              А ще пишете сь,-- "Жорстокий світ".

              Дитя Ви недолуге. :):

              Ексклюзивно для Вас повторюю "на общєдаступном язикє":

              Нє умєєшь -- нє бєрсь! Взялся за ґуж -- нє ґоворі, что нє дюж! Мір -- жесток!
    • 2003.01.12 | Мир жесток

      Да обосновано! Только это нужно делать прфессионально!!

      С применением пыток в нашей стране проблемы. Дело пущено на самотек, поэтому возникает столько проблем. Необученные менты калечат людей, оставляют следы - а это не дело. Да и пытками такие действия назвать сложно - это саддизм.
  • 2003.01.12 | expert

    Re: Обосновано ли применение пыток?

    Половину тех кто тут пишет можно с чистой душой разрешить немножко помучить. Впрочем им сепаратистам это и так предстоит попробовать на своей шкуре.
    згорнути/розгорнути гілку відповідей
    • 2003.01.12 | Адвокат ...

      То Ви сказали,-- як експерт?

      Себто: були коли сь сепаратистом, потім Вас трішки покатували,-- і нарешті,-- Ви стали... тим, ким Ви є зараз... :(: ;):
  • 2003.01.13 | Нестор Мазепа

    Так, каменюку на шию -- і у воду.

    Якщо випливе -- значить то терорист, можна сміливо добивати.
    згорнути/розгорнути гілку відповідей
    • 2003.01.13 | Адвокат ...

      Егеж,-- у такий спосіб відьом "вираховували". ;-) ( - )

  • 2003.01.13 | line305b

    Sistema v Finliandii


    Copyright © 2003 The International Herald Tribune | www.iht.com

    Finland's kindly justice keeps jail population low
    Warren Hoge The New York Times
    Friday, January 3, 2003

    KERAVA, Finland Going by the numbers, Antti Syvajarvi is a loser. He is a prison inmate in Finland - the country that jails fewer of its citizens than any other in the European Union.

    Still, he counts himself fortunate.

    "If I have to be a prisoner," he said, "I'm happy I'm one in Finland because I trust the Finnish system."

    So, evidently, do law-abiding Finns, even though their system is Europe's most lenient and would probably be the object of soft-on-criminals derision in many societies outside of the Nordic countries.

    In polls measuring what national institutions they admire the most, Finns put their criminal-coddling police force in the No. 1 position. The force is the smallest in per capita terms in Europe, but it has a corruption-free reputation and it solves 90 percent of its serious crimes. "I know this system sounds like a curiosity," said Markku Salminen, a former beat patrolman and homicide detective who is now the director general of the prison service in charge of punishments. "But if you visit our prisons and walk our streets, you will see that this very mild version of law enforcement works. I don't blame other countries for having harsher systems because they have different histories and politics, but this model works for us." Finland, a relatively classless culture with a Scandinavian belief in the benevolence of the state and a trust in corruption-free civic institutions, is something of a laboratory for gentle justice. The kinds of economic and social disparities that can produce crime do not exist in Finland's welfare state society, and law enforcement officials can count on support from an uncynical public.

    Look in on Finland's penal institutions, whether those the system categorizes as "open" or "closed," and it is hard to tell when you've entered the world of custody. "This is a closed prison," Esko Aaltonen, warden of the Hameenlinna penitentiary, said in welcoming a visitor. "But you may have noticed you just drove in, and there was no gate blocking you."

    Walls and fences have been removed in favor of unobtrusive camera surveillance and electronic alert networks. Instead of clanging iron gates, metal passageways and grim cells, there are linoleum-floored hallways lined with living spaces for inmates that resemble dormitory rooms more than lockups in a slammer.

    Guards are unarmed and wear either civilian clothes or uniforms free of emblems like chevrons and epaulettes.

    "There are 10 guns in this prison, and they are all in my safe," Aaltonen said. "The only time I take them out is for transfer of prisoners."

    At the "open" prisons, inmates and guards address each other by first name. Prison superintendents go by nonmilitary titles like manager or governor, and prisoners are sometimes referred to as "clients" or, if they are youths, "pupils."

    "We are parents, that's what we are," said Kirsti Njeminen, governor of the Kerava prison that specializes in rehabilitating young offenders like Syvajarvi.

    Generous home leaves are available, particularly as the end of a sentence nears, and for midterm inmates, there are houses on the grounds, with privacy assured, where they can spend up to four days at a time with visiting spouses and children.

    "We believe that the loss of freedom is the major punishment, so we try to make it as nice inside as possible," said Merja Toivonen, a supervisor at Hameenlinna.

    Natalia Leppamaki, 39, a Russian immigrant convicted of drunken driving, switched off a sewing machine she was using to make prison clothing and picked up on Toivonen's point.

    "Here you have work, you can eat and you can do sports, but home is home, and I don't think you'll see me in here again," she said.

    Thirty years ago, Finland had a rigid model, inherited from neighboring Russia, and one of the highest rates of imprisonment in Europe. But then academics provoked a thoroughgoing rethinking of penal policy, with their argument that it ought to reflect the region's liberal theories of social organization.

    "Finnish criminal policy is exceptionally expert-oriented," said Tapio Lappi-Seppala, director of the National Research Institute of Legal Policy. "We believe in the moral-creating and value-shaping effect of punishment instead of punishment as retribution."

    He asserted that over the last two decades, more than 40,000 Finns had been spared prison, $20 million in costs had been saved, and the crime rate had gone down to relatively low Scandinavian levels.

    Salminen, the prison service director, pulled out a piece of paper and drew three horizontal lines. "This first level is self-control, the second is social control and the third is officer control. In Finland," he explained, "we try to intervene at this first level so people won't get to the other two."

    The men and women who work in the prisons also back the softer approach.

    "There are officers who were here 20 and 30 years ago, and they say it was much tougher to work then, with more people trying to escape and more prison violence," said Kaisa Tammi-Moilanen, 32, governor of the open ward at Hameenlinna.

    She conceded that there were people who took advantage of the leniency. Risto Nikunen, 41, a grizzled drifter who has never held a job and has been in prison 11 times, was asked outside his drug rehabilitation unit if he might be one of them.

    "Well," he said with a shrug, "many people do come to prison to take a break and try to get better again."

    Prison officials can give up to 20 days solitary confinement to inmates as punishment for infractions like fighting or possessing drugs, though the usual term is from three to five days. Aaltonen said he tried to avoid even that by first talking out the problem with the offending inmate.

    Finnish courts mete out four general punishments - a fine, a conditional sentence, which amounts to probation, community service and an unconditional sentence.

    Even this last category is made less harsh by a practice of letting prisoners out after only half their term is served. Like the rest of the countries of the European Union, Finland has no death penalty.

    Copyright © 2003 The International Herald Tribune

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