Monday 30 July 11.00-11.30am BBC RADIO 4
Torture is practiced worldwide, often in the face of official denial. John Sweeney, previous winner of an Amnesty award for a radio documentary on torture, investigates its current extent, variety, and motivation – asking where and why? Can there be justification for torture? Does it ever reveal the truth and how much is state-licensed sadism? Torture has its defenders as well as its deniers.
Sweeney begins among the instruments of torture housed in the Tower of London – one of them the Scavenger’s Daughter from the reign of Henry VIII. This locks head, arms, and feet together, and may entertain visitors, but is not so far removed from its modern day equivalent.
He goes also to Belarus, meets torture victims there and asks questions of those who give the torturers the benefit of the doubt.