International Day in Support of Victims of Torture – June 26

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture – June 26

Through the Human Rights Office of Geneva, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians work in favor of human rights alongside the organisms of Unog, the United Nations Office of Geneva.  Among the various commissions of the Office, there exists one against torture.  About twenty days ago it met to examine the Cuban situation.

According to the Amnesty International Report of 2012, there are 101 Countries of the world in which cases of torture or maltreatment have been verified.  Many times, the persons have been victims of violence, illegal killings, and non-judicial executions because they took part in anti-government demonstrations.  Just as in sub Saharan Africa, where numerous popular protests have been put down by the police force using lethal weapons against mostly unarmed persons.  There have been numerous victims of indiscriminate violence, among whom have also been journalists, defenders of human rights, and religious.  Impunity for violations of human rights by the security police has spread to many African nations.

In addition, the report underlines how ‘Africa has become more and more vulnerable to terrorist activity on the part of various armed Islamist groups.  Among these there are al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the religious sect Boko haram that has intensified their dynamite attacks in Nigeria al-Shabab, active in Kenya and Somalia.  These armed groups have claimed responsibility for numerous abuses of human rights like indiscriminate attacks, illegal killings, kidnappings, and torture.’

Another hot zone regarding human rights is that of Latin America.  Here, the victims of mistreatment have been mostly migrants and natives.  For example, in ‘Mexico hundreds of bodies, some identified as kidnapped migrants, have been found in hidden holes.  Tens of thousands of Central American migrants journeying through Mexico, have been kidnapped, tortured, and killed by criminal gangs, often with the complicity of public officials.’

In America as well, numerous ‘threats and killings of defenders of human rights, witnesses, lawyers, procurators, and judges have been verified in countries such as Brazil, Columbia, Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and Venezuela.

In the United States, ‘the violations of human rights committed by the previous administration in the context of the secret detention program of the CIA in Guantanamo remain unpunished,’ notwithstanding that torture and forced disappearance were an integral part of the secret program.

In Asia at the end of 2011, two hundred thousand dissidents remained in prison camps of North Korea where torture is widespread and the same holds true in China where thousands of executions have probably taken place.

In the Middle East, the thorniest question remains that of Syria where last year thousands of civilians, including women and children, have been killed or injured.

In Europe ‘in cases of torture victims and other mistreatments, all too often the judges have failed and did not call those responsible to answer for their actions.  In Uzbekistan, notwithstanding that the authorities have declared that the practice of torture had declined significantly and in spite of the introduction of new laws to better the treatment of prisoners, in the course of a year tens of cases of torture  and other mistreatments of prisoners have been denounced. 
In Turkey, the epochal decision made in 2010 that for the first time in the juridical history of the country, state officials condemned to long periods of reclusion for having killed people with torture, have had their sentences overturned by appeals.
Episodes of torture have been amply pointed out in Ukrania and, notwithstanding some superficial reforms of the police, also in Russia.’

The Amnesty Report stresses that there are still too many countries where torture is a common practice and is not prosecuted because often the governments are accomplices in this cruel and inhuman treatment.  This means that all those who work under the auspices of human rights have the duty to maintain keen attention on this phenomena.

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1 commento
17/06/2013 23:13:21 - Massimo Corti

In tutto il mondo vi sono cristiani che lottano contro la tortura e la pena di morte, sono gli iscritti alle tante ACAT - Azione dei Cristiani per l'Abolizine della Tortura - diffuse sui vari continenti. ACAT Italia (www.acatitalia.it) agisce da anni con vari mezzi e, ultimamente, ha dato una grande spinta al fattore educativo/formativo, con l'assegnazione annuale di premi di laurea per tesi contro la tortura e la pena capitale. Tutte le ACAT sono parte della Federazione Internazionale delle ACAT (la FIACAT - www.fiacat.org), federazione che ha lo statuto consultivo presso il Consiglio d’Europa, l’ONU e la Commissione Africana per i diritti degli Uomini e dei Popoli. Se tutti i cristiani partecipassero di più a questa azione umanitaria, le cose potrebbero andare meglio.


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