Quite contrary to the claims of the ticking bomb acolytes, torture is not something that governments are somehow "denying themselves" in the fight against terrorism or other criminals. Instead, as Amnesty confirms, torture is actually "flourishing" in the modern world. The last thing we need is people coming up with exotic ways to justify it.
Firstly, Northern Ireland is not your normal western liberal democracy. As Mick Fealty said, there exists two worlds in Northern Ireland. One is progressive, cosmopolitan, tolerant, ambitious. The other is a minority that extorts, blackmails and wields arbitrary power over a moderate majority. The politicians are complicit with these economic vandals and thugs.
The tenacity and forthrightness of Amnesty's founding members is truly remarkable and admirable. These were ordinary people with ordinary jobs, who appointed themselves as moonlighting human rights defenders. They picked up their pens and wrote to heads of state, demanding that they release prisoners.
In one very bloody seven month period, from August 1988 to February 1989, at least 4,500 people, some of them teenagers, were executed, according to Amnesty International. This works out at an average execution rate of one person almost every hour for over 200 days.
The Rwandan authorities must take these allegations seriously. They have an obligation under Rwandan and international law to investigate and prosecute those thought to be responsible. Doing so will be an important step towards justice for victims and reduce the risk of such abuses happening again. It will also help to restore the confidence of donor countries that are increasingly concerned by human rights abuses committed by the Rwandan military in DRC and now in Rwanda itself.