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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Amnesty launches new 'waterboarding' film

Amnesty International has today launched a hard-hitting new film about “waterboarding”, the practice of torturing prisoners by partially drowning them.

Amnesty’s film, called “Stuff Of Life”, is set to be one of the strongest campaign films ever seen by cinema-goers when the film is shown from early May. What adds to the Stuff Of Life's “shock value” is that it is effectively “disguised” as a bottled water or vodka advert, filmed in the “glossy” style usually seen in luxury consumer goods advertising.

The short film, can be viewed online here and will be seen on some 50 UK cinema screens from 9 May, portrays a torture technique that is currently the subject of intense controversy in the United States, where CIA officials have recently admitted that their operatives have waterboarded “war on terror” prisoners in secret interrogations.

The waterboarding admissions, alongside revelations that videotapes of CIA interrogations have been destroyed, have fuelled intense debate about US treatment of prisoners in fighting terrorism. However, despite growing concern about waterboarding and other abusive practices, US President George Bush recently vetoed a bill that would have outlawed such so-called “enhanced interrogation” techniques.
What of the British way of jailing Brits (including single mothers) for the sin of not paying a court fine for not paying for a TV license? What say you about the suicide rate in British prisons?

I agree that interrogations involving the use of violence, bet it waterboarding or anything else, is plain flat out wrong. But it puzzles me why you and others concentrate so much on that and ignore the plank floating around in your own country’s system. The suicide rate in British prisons is AWFUL, the overcrowding is driving prisoners off their heads and they are self-harming and killing themselves at alarming rates, particularly among young prisoners. Then there’s France prison system – which is really awful. People are dying in British and European prisons like those in France at alarming rates.
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