Archive for December, 2009

Throughout the course of history, there have occurred certain infamous cases of abuse of power by governments against individuals. These individuals, when confronted by such a powerful and oppressive adversary, must reach down into the very depths of their human spirit in order to find strength of will and determination to physically and emotionally survive in their fight for justice. Unfortunately, only a very select few have such capabilities, our story, IN GOLD WE TRUST, is about two such people. Tony and Robert Papalia, two young Italian Canadian businessmen, for years have become the victims of harassment, false imprisonment and physical torture.

“During his short ride, Robert had been able to observe that the world had not changed since his imprisonment four days earlier. There was no sign of war or disruption in London. He began to think this must be one giant mistake. If so, there was going to be hell to pay. At this point he still believed that England was a country which respected human rights — a place where the rule of law reigns supreme. Unfortunately, Robert was about to discover the extent to which England’s private little police army, known as the CID, strays from the hallmark of British justice.”
– excerpt from IN GOLD WE TRUST

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
– Article 5 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

HUMAN RIGHTS are basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled and to ensure that people receive some degree of decent, humane treatment. To violate the most basic human rights, on the other hand, is to deny individuals their fundamental moral entitlements. It is, in a sense, to treat them as if they are less than human and undeserving of respect and dignity.

Examples of rights and freedoms which have come to be commonly thought of as human rights include civil and political rights, such as the right to life and liberty, freedom of expression, and equality before the law; and economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to participate in culture, the right to be treated with respect and dignity, the right to food, the right to work, and the right to education in some countries.

There are various types of violations of human rights; one violation is that government forces may carry out programs of torture. Torture can be either physical or psychological, and aims at the “humiliation or annihilation of the dignity of the person.” Physical torture might include mutilation, beatings, and electric shocks to lips, gums, and genitals. In psychological torture, detainees are sometimes deprived of food and water for long periods, kept standing upright for hours, deprived of sleep, or tormented by high-level noise. Torture is used in some cases as a way to carry out interrogations and extract confessions or information. Individuals who pose a threat to those in power or do not share their political views may be arbitrarily imprisoned, and either never brought to trial or subject to grossly unfair trial procedures.

Read Chapter: The Interrogation

Today, torture is increasingly used as a means of suppressing political and ideological dissent, or for punishing political opponents who do not share the ideology of the ruling group.

Inform yourself and check out the website for the UN Human Rights Day 2009

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights

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