Human Rights Mechanisms

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Article 5 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights states that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Torture is a serious issue and often goes unreported. An example of an incident is the Abu Ghraib Prison incident in Iraq.

Beginning in 2003 numerous accounts of abuse and torture of prisoners held in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq occurred. These acts were committed by personnel of the 372nd military police company, CIA officers and contractors involved in the occupation of Iraq.

As a result, and internal criminal investigation by the united states army was commenced in January 2004, and subsequently reports of abuse as well as graphic images showing American military personnel torturing the prisoners surfaced through the mass media.

The investigation that was conducted by the us government led to the arrest of 8 soldiers, charged with dereliction of duty, maltreatment aggravated assault and battery and 17 soldiers were removed from duty. This Legal mechanism, while meeting some of the effectiveness criteria, proved to be mostly ineffective for a number of reasons.

This legal mechanism is mainly ineffective. The rule of law was not met, as many perpetrators went without charge or reprimand. Equality was not established as some soldiers were not investigated, but rather given a discharge whereas some were investigated, tried, and convicted. Accessibility was almost non-existent, as the army did not listen to inmates who claimed to be victims of torture. The Protection of individual rights in this case was atrocious, hundreds of torturous acts were committed and most went un-reported and no assistance or action was taken by the US government to help many victims of abuse. Societies needs were obviously not met in this situation as imprisoned Iraqis still live with the fear of torture, especially those on charges of terrorism

Even with all the shortcomings of this mechanism, the law...
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