Year of the Dragon – What About Human Rights? Interview with Legal Expert – Torture may seem like an outmoded and unconscionable act that should be outlawed int he 21st century. Human rights lawyer Karen Tse Karen Tse is interviewed by CNN regarding the outlawing of torture in the Year of the Dragon.

The former San Francisco public defender founded International Bridges to Justice. She spoke at the TED Global conference in July in Edinburgh, Scotland. TED is a nonprofit organization dedicated to “Ideas worth spreading” which it makes available through talks posted on its website

“The dragon is the Chinese counterpart of the phoenix rising from the ashes of destruction. And as we bring in the Year of the Dragon Monday, the most important of the years in the Chinese Zodiac, let’s consider a great opportunity — and an awe-inspiring responsibility — to create an ethical world together.

“The challenge we must face: Every day, throughout the world, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters are arbitrarily detained, tortured and denied access to counsel and basic due process rights — causing untold human suffering, perpetuating patterns of violence and impunity, and sapping vast economic potential.

“We may think of torture as a last-resort instrument of authoritarian regimes or rogue groups to extract information from political prisoners, but torture is a much more common occurrence than that.

“More than 100 countries — including some we describe as democratic — practice some sort of torture, often on a massive scale, and most of the tortured are not even political prisoners. Torture is actually used most of the time just because it is the cheapest form of investigation, less expensive than building a proper legal system.

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