In many parts of the world torture is not only tolerated by governments but is actually directed by them.
GV Delegates seated (3 shots)
MV McBride speaking
Mr. Mc Bride said:
"Many of us I'm sure had hoped that after the last war, we would emerge from the era of darkness and savagery that had existed then, into an era in which the rights of the individual would be protected and certainly we wouldn't have a reign of brutality institutionalised in many areas of the world. However, one of our great concerns at the moment and for the last three or four years has been the growing and conclusive evidence, that in many areas of the world the torture of prisoners is practised as part of the arm of Government. At first we had hoped that reports we had received of torture being practised here and there were only individual isolated cases, we are now satisfied that in many areas of the world torture is not only tolerated by governments, but is actually directed by governments. This is a return to barbarism and that is what we are trying to fight in the world at the moment, and this is why we have dedicated this year to the campaign against the utilisation of torture."
Delegates seated; Mr. McBride speaking.
Initials APSM/1.28 APSM/1.35
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Background: In many parts of the world torture is not only tolerated by governments but is actually directed by them. This claim was made by Mr. Sean McBride, Chairman of Amnesty International, the London-based organisation which campaigns for the rights of political prisoners, speaking at the annual council meeting held in Vienna on Thursday (13 September).
The meeting also heard from the Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky. He warned the Soviet Union that continued pressure on dissidents could damage prospects for international detente. Herr Kreisky told the 140 delegates that he had carefully considered whether or not to speak out about the case of Andrei Sakharov, the Soviet physicist, who has been sharply critical of his Government, but had eventually decided to speak out "in the consciousness of responsibility".
Dr. Kreisky was speaking for the third time in two weeks about Soviet treatment of dissidents. He was criticised by the Soviet news agency Tass last weekend for defending Dr. Sakharov.