UN warns of rise of ‘cybertorture’ to bypass physical ban

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UN warns of rise of ‘cybertorture’ to bypass physical ban

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Rapporteur warns against trivialising psychological torture as states exploit internet to target individuals

Psychological torture is being exploited by states to circumvent the more widely understood ban on physically inflicting pain and may open the way to a future of “cybertorture”, the UN torture rapporteur has said.

Nils Melzer, professor of international law at the University of Glasgow and the UN’s special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, is cautioning that the internet could be used systematically to target individuals remotely – through “intimidation, harassment, surveillance, public shaming and defamation”.

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