#BAD13 Day 3 & 4 – Articles 5 to 8

Yep! I missed a day! so here is a catch up post! Articles 5 through to 8 spans the gamut from torture through to equality in the eyes of the law.

Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

So Article 5 has a bit of popular relevancy at the moment. The latest instalment of the Grand Theft Auto series (Note there may be spoilers in this article and in some of my links. I haven’t actually played the game myself and, unlike movies and tv, I tend not to worry so much about game spoilers, but I felt I should say – you can stop reading here if you want) came out just a few weeks ago. There is a scene which forces you, as the character, to choose which method of torture would be most appropriate. The opinion online varies from shock and horror, thru to the usual cries of “it’s just a game”.  An interesting article on Eurogamer (link below) admits that even seasoned GTA players are shocked, this is not the cartoon violence that we are used to, this is one on one “enhanced interrogation techniques” which may (or more likely may not) actually yield any information from the captive. The article also asks whether the game manufacturer, Rockstar, sees this scene as an attack on state sponsored torture. I like to think so, but then, one has to question what was the point of the attack on the Hare Krishna’s in the earlier instalments all about?!

Article 6: Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7: All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Articles 6 & 7 could be taken together. If you have the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law, it also stands to reason that you should be entitled to non-discrimination. Of course, in practice this is quite a bit harder to realise. Discrimination happens both implicitly and explicitly worldwide, and even in countries that have full anti-discrimination laws, the statistics tend to show that certain groups do appear to be over represented in the criminal justice system.

Article 8: Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 8 doesn’t really need much commentary. If something has happened that directly violates the rights granted to you, then if you can’t get any remedy through the lower level systems, there should be competent national tribunals to get your remedy. Of course, there is even international ones!

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