Amnesty International has used the beaten, bruised and swollen faces of well-known figures to front their latest campaign against torture, including a picture of Iggy Pop who is quoted as saying: “The future of rock’n‘roll is Justin Bieber.”
The singer is joined by the Dalai Lama, who is shown with a battered face and the equally unlikely quote: “A man who does not have a Rolex watch at 50 years old has failed in his life.”
Both images are headed with the slogan “torture a man and he will tell you anything” to highlight both the inhumanity and the ineffectiveness of torture as a method of obtaining information.
“Governments of torture and ill-treatment claim they obtain valuable information,” Philippe Hensmans, director of the Belgian francophone section of Amnesty International, told Euro News.
“But history has shown that tortured people are often willing to say anything for the pain to stop – the whole truth, only a part or its opposite.”
“You cannot imagine Iggy Pop saying that Justin Bieber is the future of rock’n‘roll,” he added. “For us it was a quirky but not sloppy way to attract public attention to this tragic reality, which often happens in the greatest secrecy.”
Amnesty has recently ramped up its campaigning to stamp out the practice with the Stop Torture campaign, which was launched in May.
Ahead of its launch, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General said governments around the world are “two-faced on torture” - “prohibiting it in law, but facilitating it in practice”.
He added: “Torture is not just alive and well – it is flourishing in many parts of the world. As more governments seek to justify torture in the name of national security, the steady progress made in this field over the last thirty years is being eroded.”