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26.06.12
Urgent Interventions

26 June 2012: Victims' rights must be centre stage in global fight against torture

​WORLD ORGANISATION AGAINS TORTURE (OMCT)

PRESS RELEASE

InternationalDay in Support of Victims of Torture

Victims’rights must be centre stage in global fight against torture

Geneva, 26th of June 2012. On the occasion of the International Dayin Support of Victims of Torture, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), the leading global civilsociety coalition against torture, calls on States and the internationalcommunity to increase its efforts to protect victims of torture and to endimpunity for acts of torture.

‘The UN Day for the Victims of Torture should remindus all that the protection of victims and their rights must be centre stage ofthe global anti-torture efforts’, said GeraldStaberock, OMCT Secretary General.

In a special video message launched today (see below), members of the OMCT General Assembly, representing itsglobal network against torture, highlight the importance of June 26 globallyand the need to act resolutely to protect victims of torture.

‘Much more needs to be done to ensure that victimsare protected, that remedies are made to work in practice, that investigationsinto torture are conducted with independence and that those responsible areeffectively brought to justice. This is fundamental for victims to re-establishtheir lives. And without justice for victims of torture will not be preventedin the future’, he added.

Victims of torture have rights under internationallaw and States have clear obligations to provide remedies and reparation tovictims, including rehabilitation and compensation. Yet the OMCT observes dailythat remedies fail in practice and that reparations are rarely provided tovictims of torture. Multiple legal and practical impediments continue toprevent independent investigations into the crime of torture. Impunity remainsthe rule in many parts of the world.

On the occasion of the UN Day for the Victims ofTorture the OMCT is conducting a number of special events that will bepublished on a specially designated website as part of its global campaign for the Absolute Prohibitionof Torture and Ill-treatment, notably through the Manifesto entitled “Nothing can justify torture under any circumstances”,which has already been signed by more than 4,000signatories, including ten laureates of the Nobel Prize.

‘Indeed June 26 should not only serve to remind States of theirobligations to respect and guarantee the absolute prohibition of torture andill-treatment, but that the fight against torture can only be effective if the publicin our societies rejects and denounces such barbaric practices and demands fromtheir governments effective steps to protect victims of torture’, said theOMCT.

For further information, please contact:

Pierre-Henri Golly, +41 22 809 49 39
For furtherinformation on OMCT’s Campaign and June 26:

www.omct.org/assistance-to-victims/events/2012/06/d21843/

Towatch the video, click on http://vimeo.com/44444662

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