'Beaten and bruised' celebrities are faces of new anti-torture campaign

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By Chris Harris
'Beaten and bruised' celebrities are faces of new anti-torture campaign

What has the unlikely trio of rock star Iggy Pop, the Dalai Lama and designer Karl Lagerfeld got in common?

They have all put their faces to an Amnesty International campaign in Belgium to help stop torture.

The “beaten” and “bruised” celebrities appear on posters, with the slogan “torture a man and he will tell you anything” beneath.

To underline the point there is an unlikely “quote” from the celebrity. Under the Dalai Lama it reads: “A man who does not have a Rolex watch at 50 years old has failed in his life.” While for Iggy Pop it says: “The future of rock’n‘roll is Justin Bieber.”

The campaign, by Air Agency, began on Tuesday (June 17) morning with the distribution of leaflets, before the message spread on social networks.

Amnesty says it hopes its shock campaign will not only show that torture is a reality for thousands of people in the world, but that it is totally ineffective.

“Governments of torture and ill-treatment claim they obtain valuable information,” said Philippe Hensmans, director of the Belgian francophone section of Amnesty International. “But history has shown that tortured people are often willing to say anything for the pain to stop – the whole truth, only a part or its opposite.”

“You can not imagine Iggy Pop saying that Justin Bieber is the future of rock’n‘roll,” he added. “For us it was a quirky but not sloppy way to attract public attention to this tragic reality, which often happens in the greatest secrecy.”