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International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

On June 26, people from around the world commemorated the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Three years ago, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon recognized this day by saying: “On this International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, we express our solidarity with, and support for, the hundreds of thousands of victims of torture and their family members throughout the world who endure such suffering. We also note the obligation of States not only to prevent torture but to provide all torture victims with effective and prompt redress, compensation and appropriate social, psychological, medical and other forms of rehabilitation.”

The Syria Justice and Accountability Centre (SJAC) would like to recognize all the victims in Syria and around the globe who have died under torture, are currently suffering in detention, or have escaped the abuse and are now living with the physical and emotional scars. Those who have survived have endured indescribable violations that require immediate redress and attention. Torture is a crime under customary international law, meaning it applies to all countries whether or not they have acceded to international conventions banning torture. All perpetrators of such acts must be held accountable because there is absolutely no justification for inflicting this kind of suffering on another human being. By working to document the crimes committed, SJAC aims to create a pathway for Syrian victims to regain their dignity through justice against the perpetrators, leading to long-term peace for all Syrians.

The first commemoration of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was in 1998, following a proposal by Denmark to acknowledge torture victims. The June 26th date was chosen because the United Nations Charter and was signed on that date in 1945 and the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into effect the same day in 1987.

For more information and to provide feedback please email SJAC at [email protected] .