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Interim report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, A/64/215, 3 August 2009

III. Conditions of detention

A. Detainees: out of sight, out of mind

40. Many people think that torture is primarily the fate of political and other “high-ranking” prisoners. In reality, most of the victims of arbitrary detention, torture and inhuman conditions of detention are usually ordinary people who belong to the poorest and most disadvantaged sectors of society, including those belonging to the lowest classes, children, persons with disabilities and diseases, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender persons, drug addicts, aliens and members of ethnic and religious minorities or indigenous communities.

61. Where resources for the fulfilment of basic needs are scarce, the establishment of hierarchies among human beings can instantly be observed. At the bottom are often people who are marginalized because of their age, social status, health condition  or  disabilities, gender, ethnic or religious origin, status as foreigners or sexual orientation or owing to a drug addiction.

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