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Torture of prisoners persists in 80 nations, conference told

The London-based human-rights organization Amnesty International still receives reports of torture and ill-treatment of prisoners from half of the 160 countries it monitors, said its secretary-general, Thomas Hammarberg.

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''This is in spite of a total ban against torture in international agreements like the Universal Declaration of Human rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights,'' he told delegates here at a two-day regional conference on civil rights abuses. The conference was attended by representatives of 17 African nations and nine other countries.