Statement by NYS Senator Hoylman Condemning Torture

Brad Hoylman

April 23, 2013

Albany, NY (April 23, 2013) – “I deplore the comments made in recent days by the Chairman of the New York State Senate Homeland Security Committee that the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing should be tortured.

Torture can never be justified to extract information or a confession from suspects. The law is clear: U.S. law, the U.N. Convention against Torture, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights all impose an absolute ban torture, even during wartime.

With this in mind, I have introduced S.2397/A.5891 with Assembly member Richard Gottfried, which prohibits participation in torture and improper treatment of prisoners by health care professionals. Despite the dictum that they should “do no harm,“ there is strong evidence that health care professionals have helped design, monitor, and justify the use of torture at overseas prisons such as Guantanamo Bay. Direct engagement or complicity in such acts violates health care professionals’ standards and ethics.  It is appropriate that New York hold those professionals licensed by the state accountable for their actions.

Torture is inherently wrong. It degrades and corrupts the society that sanctions it, in addition to being ineffectual by producing unreliable information from its subjects. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to stand against torture and the participation in it by medical professionals and support S.2397.”