In many parts of the world torture is not only tolerated by governments but is actually directed by them.
In many parts of the world torture is not only tolerated by governments but is actually directed by them. This claim was made by Mr. Sean McBride, Chairman of Amnesty International, the London-based organisation which campaigns for the rights of political prisoners, speaking at the annual council meeting held in Vienna on Thursday (13 September).
The meeting also heard from the Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky. He warned the Soviet Union that continued pressure on dissidents could damage prospects for international detente. Herr Kreisky told the 140 delegates that he had carefully considered whether or not to speak out about the case of Andrei Sakharov, the Soviet physicist, who has been sharply critical of his Government, but had eventually decided to speak out "in the consciousness of responsibility".
Dr. Kreisky was speaking for the third time in two weeks about Soviet treatment of dissidents. He was criticised by the Soviet news agency Tass last weekend for defending Dr. Sakharov.