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Police spin secret 'torture roulette' wheel to choose punishment for inmates

‘Torture consequences’ on the wheel included being hung upside down or being punched non-stop for 20 seconds.

OFFICERS AT A police intelligence facility in the Philippines have been playing a game of ‘torture roulette’ with inmates, spinning a wheel in a secret room to determine which cruel punishment would be inflicted on them.

The secret torture cell was discovered by the Philippines’ Commission on Human Rights (CHR) during  a routine visit to the detention facility.

Officers had a list of different torture positions or ‘torture consequences’ which were chosen by spinning the wheel. A ‘30 second bat position’ for example, meant that the detainee would be hung upside down like a bat for 30 seconds. A ‘20 second Manny Pacquiao’ meant that a detainee would be punched non-stop for 20 seconds.

The CHR reported that 44 detainees at the facility in Biñan, Laguna province had accused at least ten officers of torture and extortion. They also said that drinking sprees by officers led to further torture and ill-treatment of suspects in custody. Most of the people arrested were there for drug-related cases and many complained of being tortured from the day they were arrested to force them to give information.

This facility is not on the legally required updated list of detention facilities which Amnesty International Ireland said today made it ‘a de facto secret detention facility’.

Executive Director Colm O’Gorman said it is “despicable” for police officers to use torture ‘for fun’.

“Suspending officers is not enough. Errant police personnel and their commanding officers should be held accountable in a court of law,” he said.

Torture is a criminal act, and the leadership of the Philippine National Police must end its practice within its ranks. The authorities must ensure that torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment is not tolerated.

Ten police officers have been relieved of their posts following an investigation but O’Gorman said that this incident shows “the message that torture should be absolutely prohibited in all circumstances seems to have failed to reach the police” in the country.

Read: War crimes report accuses Syria of torture and 11,000 executions>

Read: UN anti-torture body questions Ireland’s record on abortion and Magdalenes>

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