Thirty-seven years have passed since the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment came into effect on June 26, 2021. However, the reality in most countries of the world, especially countries in the Middle East and North Africa, remains bleak in relation to what happens behind bars in the prisons of repressive governments and parties to conflicts.

Today, although 162 countries around the world have ratified the Convention, the international community, including the governments of countries that have ratified the Convention, is still unable to put an end to torture as a crime of inhuman punishment.

The reality of torture has only got worse since the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic. The world’s preoccupation with fighting the virus made room for repressive authorities to practice various methods of torture and extortion against their detainees and prisoners, especially prisoners of conscience, away from media spotlight.

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