Global solidarity urged for torture victims

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Singers wearing hats advocating “No Torture” line up before performing at a Human Rights Day event outside of Mogadishu Central Prison in Somalia. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

The world is being asked to stand in solidarity with all people affected by torture.

In a message on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, on 26 June, the UN Secretary-General called for a global outcry against these abhorrent and inhumane practices.

Ban Ki-moon also addressed the need for special protection for human rights defenders and others who "shine a light" on torture.

Dianne Penn reports.

Mr Ban spoke of how torture has increased due to the rise in violent extremism as well as forced displacement, which can expose refugees and asylum seekers to grave human rights violations. 

He said during armed conflict, torture is a war crime. 

And when used in a systematic or widespread manner, it is a crime against humanity. 

The Secretary-General called for special protection for what he called "courageous" human rights defenders who put themselves at grave risk in order to "shine a light" on the practice of torture. 

He also praised the many doctors, lawyers, psychiatrists and social workers who help victims to heal and re-join society. 

Mr Ban reminded countries of their obligation under international law to provide redress to torture victims. 

Dianne Penn, United Nations. 

Duration: 50″

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