Commemoration of International Day in Support of Victims & Survivors of Torture –

Commemoration of International Day in Support of Victims & Survivors of Torture at Kliptown’s Freedom Square on the 55th Anniversary of the Adoption of the Freedom Charter: 10:30 – 13:00: Listen to Testimonies of Torture Survivors & Join us in Launching the Book, “All That Was Lost”

June 26 marks the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. It provides time to honour victims and survivors of torture across the world and to imagine and gather strength to work together for a World without Torture. In Soweto, some 60 victims and survivors of torture will come together at the historic Freedom Square to share their stories; and to commit themselves to commit to working for a world without torture, by continuing to speak about the crime of torture.

As Fr Michael Lapsley reminds us,

“Under apartheid, torture was endemic and very widely used by the apartheid regime. Those who fought for freedom were at times also guilty of torturing their opponents. Many, many South Africans still bear the psychological scars of torture. The perpetrators were also deeply damaged by what they did to other human beings.”

We acknowledge that for torture to end, we must constantly break the silence around torture, condemn it whenever it happens, demand laws against torture and demand that torturers are made fully accountable. The struggle here requires the monitoring of places of involuntary detention where individuals may be vulnerable to torture and effective lobbying for the adoption of legislation to criminalise torture and to provide for those who have used torture, to be prosecuted.

The past year has seen some advances in this struggle. Pakistan has ratified the U N Convention against Torture while India has taken steps to ratify the Convention. The British government has called for an inquiry into complicity in torture in the “War on Terror” and Argentina has successfully brought to justice the perpetrators of torture from the 1970s.

On International Day against Torture we join human rights activists everywhere to redouble our efforts to end torture and we join our partners in SANToC, the South African No Torture Consortium, (the Southern African Centre for Torture Survivors, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, the Trauma Centre and the Institute for the Healing of Memories) to declare our willingness to speak out against the torture no matter by whom it is carried out.

Do join Khulumani members between 10:00 and 13:00 at Freedom Square Conference Centre on Saturday, June 26.

For more information, please call:

Dr Marjorie Jobson 082 268 0223
Mr Zweli Mkhize 073 704 6414

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