Tag Archive: Torture


As many as two million people perished during The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution as Mao sought to consolidate control 17 years after taking power in 1949.

All professionals – doctors, teachers, lawyers – were targeted in the great purge of the middle classes. Millions of pet cats were killed too, because they were seen as a bourgeois affectation.

Even those with interests such as fashion or literature were seen as traitors. Friends, neighbours and even family members denounced each other, guilty or not.

China expert Frank Dikotter says: “There were several dozen cases of ritual cannibalism. It was about not just eliminating your class enemy, but devouring him.”

Executions included beheadings, ­boilings, live burials, stonings, drownings and disembowellings

Professor Dikotter says: “In Dao County, thousands were eliminated by driving them over cliffs to plunge to their deaths – men, women and children. The fear was that if you killed the adults the children could return to reap revenge, so it was better to wipe out the family line. In one case a grandmother and her granddaughter were buried alive.

“Then, after 1968, millions were sent to the countryside after they finished school, some of whom were girls as young as 14. Thousands of young girls were left at the mercy of villagers and raped.”

Source: Torture, mass murder, rape and cannibalism … the horror of Mao’s Cultural Revolution 50 years on – Mirror Online

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Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe torture can be justified to extract information from suspected terrorists, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, a level of support similar to that seen in countries like Nigeria where militant attacks are common.

The poll reflects a U.S. public on edge after the massacre of 14 people in San Bernardino in December and large-scale attacks in Europe in recent months, including a bombing claimed by the militant group Islamic State last week that killed at least 32 people in Belgium.

Donald Trump, the front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, has forcefully injected the issue of whether terrorism suspects should be tortured into the election campaign.

Trump has said he would seek to roll back President Barack Obama’s ban on waterboarding – an interrogation technique that simulates drowning that human rights groups contend is illegal under the Geneva Conventions. Trump has also vowed to “bring back a hell of a lot worse” if elected.

Trump’s stance has drawn broad criticism from human rights organizations, world bodies, and political rivals. But the poll findings suggest that many Americans are aligned with Trump on the issue, although the survey did not ask respondents to define what they consider torture.

“The public right now is coping with a host of negative emotions,” said Elizabeth Zechmeister, a Vanderbilt University professor who has studied the link between terrorist threats and public opinion. “Fear, anger, general anxiety: (Trump) gives a certain credibility to these feelings,” she said.

The March 22-28 online poll asked respondents if torture can be justified “against suspected terrorists to obtain information about terrorism.” About 25 percent said it is “often” justified while another 38 percent it is “sometimes” justified. Only 15 percent said torture should never be used.

 

Source: Exclusive – Most Americans support torture against terror suspects: Reuters/Ipsos poll | Reuters

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