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recruiting a torturer (£16k-£21k) via the guardian jobs section
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    Recruitment ads, Guardian newspaper, 30 April 2012

    I was browsing the Guardian newspaper’s recruitment ads this week when I saw this ad for a job as a Torturer. It caught me off guard — as it was meant to — and I felt a few seconds of profound shock and dismay. The Guardian, or indeed any reputable paper, was the last place one would expect to see such a repulsive announcement, and yet there it was.

    “The government of a Middle Eastern state is recruiting a senior torturer to work in a well-equipped prison. Our ideal candidate would be prepared to inflict extreme pain and suffering.”

    As the copy continues, it gets worse: penetrating injuries, blunt trauma, electric shocks, exposure to bodily fluids. The language is calm, descriptive, exactly like any other recruitment ad: “Candidates will be expected to inspire a small but enthusiastic team . . .”

    Then, just over half way, it becomes clear that this is a message from a UK-based organization, Freedom from Torture, which cares for survivors from around the world. I know this remarkable charity well. I’m a supporter. Until last year, it was called the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture. On the opposite page, I notice a similarly styled ad: “Abuser. Excellent package/benefits, flexible location.”