Launch of 10 Days of Activism Against Torture and Ill-treatment
1st to the 10th of December 2013
Geneva, 29thNovember 2013. On the occasion of the Human Rights Day, the World OrganisationAgainst Torture (OMCT), the principal global civil society coalition againsttorture, is launching its Campaign “10 days of activism against torture andill-treatment” together with members of its network “SOS Torture” to call forpublic support against torture.
Torture and ill-treatment continue to occur all overthe world and can take many features. It can be inflicted in the name ofnational security or counter-terrorism, in the fight against organised crime ordrug cartels or to repress social protests. But in the large majority of casesit is used against persons detained on ordinary criminal charges, notably toextract confession or obtain information, and disproportionally on thosebelonging to minorities, marginal groups or the poor. These human rightsviolations remain too often unpunished.
“Torture andill-treatment are egregious acts and a negation of the core of human dignityitself”, said Gerald Staberock, Secretary General of OMCT. “But let’s not be mistaken - torture and impunityhave repercussions far beyond the individual violation. They corrupt the stateapparatus, the rule of law and democracy. Nobody should remain indifferent before this barbaric practice”,he added.
Human rights defenders are the voice of those who aredeprived of it because they are victims of torture and ill- treatment. OMCT hasbeen supporting the fight of torture victims and of human rights defenders overthe years.
In the framework of its global campaign “Nothing canjustify torture under any circumstances”, OMCT invites the public to discoverfrom the 1st to the 10th of December ten videos of humanrights defenders speaking out against torture and ill-treatment. Each day, onevideo will feature one human rights defender responding to one question inrelation to the practice of torture and ill-treatment.
In parallel, member organisations in Kenya, Lebanon,Malaysia and Pakistan will hold events in order to remind States of theirobligations to respect and guarantee the absolute prohibition of torture andill-treatment, to create awareness among vulnerable groups of citizens ontorture in order to empower them on how best to seek redress and also to mobilisethe public at large against such practices that cannot be justified under anycircumstances.
“Each and everyone of us has the possibilityto take a stand against torture and ill-treatment. We invite people around theworld to discover the ten videos against torture and impunity on OMCT’s website(www.omct.org) and social medias”, added Gerald Staberock. ‘These videos are a powerful reminder, thatit is the courage of defenders working often amidst serious threats, assembledin the network of the OMCT, that makes a difference in the global fight againsttorture”, he concluded.
This global public campaign forms part of an OMCT’sproject seeking the effective implementation of the UN Convention AgainstTorture and anti-torture reforms with the financial support of the EuropeanCommission and the Oak Foundation.
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