Today, United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture: A use of torture that is dangerous because it is contagious


Human rights violations sometimes receive the support of the people and the democratic channels that they pervert. Assumed by Rodrigo Duterte who made it a campaign argument during the 2016 presidential election in the Philippines, these violations allowed the elected president to capitalize on up to 85% approval despite – or thanks to – his brutal and bloody “war” waged against drugs in defiance of the law. The possible tens of thousands of murders of people suspected of being involved in drug trafficking will have had little effect on his plebiscite.

This example, taken from the report, illustrates what Marc Crépon, philosopher, Research Director at the CNRS and Director of the Master of Philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure, calls in his introductory article the “seduction disorder” of torture: “(l )the paranoia specific to oppressive regimes induces, in fact, the suspicion that all political opposition is likely to develop secretly, that it is in any case more widespread than it appears. (…) His murderous madness is therefore based on the conviction that the “security” of the State should not deny itself any means to extirpate consciences, to tear from bodies the “malicious” truth that they conceal.

But this conviction is contagious. Today it blurs the line between dictatorship and democracy, so that no society is safe from insidiously coming to consent to torture,” he analyzes.

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