CREED Public Lecture Series: Moazzam Begg

1st Apr 2008 - 6:00pm

Edge Hill University

The Centre for Research Ethics and Ethical Deliberation (CREED) public lecture series ‘Ethics, Torture and the War on Terror’ will focus attention on one of today’s key social, political and ethical issues: is torture ever justified?

The invited speakers, including both academics and those with direct experience of the consequences of the contemporary use of torture, will critically explore this question in relation to the politics of the ‘War on Terror’.

Moazzam Begg, is a British-born spokesperson for the human rights organisation, Cage Prisoners, himself a former prisoner of Guantanamo Bay.

When I was first asked to make a presentation, I thought I’d find myself out of my depth. But the subject matter seemed to me to be a rather open and shut case: Is Torture Ever Justified? No. End of presentation. So why is it that lawyers are faced with this question today, in the 21st century, here in the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Western Europe or the USA?

According to the law of this country and international law, torture is not an option – it is unlawful. But the question we face here is not one of legality. It’s about morality – or the lack of it. It’s about a political desire to redefine the use of torture and its application, and to make it acceptable to the masses, because ‘the rules of the game have changed’.