Posts Tagged ‘victims of torture’

AI Germany award goes to Egypt’s Nadeem Center for torture victims

January 25, 2018

Amnesty International’s German branch has awarded its human rights prize to Egypt’s Nadeem Center. For the past 20 years, the center has documented torture carried out by security forces and treated victims at its clinic (the Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture).

Founders of the Nadeem Center for torture victims in Cairo, Egypt (picture-alliance/dpa/Polaris Image/D. Smilie)

We want to support all the courageous women and men who put their lives on the line in the struggle against torture, violence and despotism in Egypt,” said Markus Beeko, the Secretary General of Amnesty International in Germany, in a statement. For more information on this and other awards: http://trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/a-i-germanys-human-rights-award.

See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/11/10/helen-hunt-joins-list-of-celebrities-that-show-insensitivity-on-human-rights/

Eyad El-Sarraj, Palestinian Laureate of MEA 1998, dies at 69

December 18, 2013

Today, 18 December 2013,  Scoop News brings the sad news that Palestinian Human Rights Defender Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj, Palestinian psychiatrist and Commissioner-General of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens’ Rights, passed away in Gaza a few hours ago. Born in Beersheva, Palestine on 27 April 1944, Dr El-Sarraj arrived with his family in Gaza in 1948 as a refugee. He grew up to become the first psychiatrist to practice in Gaza, beginning in 1977. Dr El-Sarraj went on to found and direct the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme [GCMHP], which he established in 1990 to promote the mental well-being of three major target groups in the Palestinian community: children, women, and victims of organized violence and torture. “We strongly believe that there is a correlation between human rights and mental health, because sound mental health cannot be gained under violent circumstances, and human rights will not be respected in a society exposed to ongoing trauma,” states the organisation’s strategy document. His human rights work was not without cost – in 1996 he was arrested and tortured for condemning torture and violation of human rights by the Palestinian Authorities.  In 1998 he received the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders [MEA], in 1997 the Physicians for Human Rights Award, and in 2010 the Swedish labour movement’s  Olof Palme Prize. In the same year, Dr El-Sarraj was jointly awarded the Juan José López-Ibor prize in psychiatry, along with Professor Jules Angst, in recognition of his contribution to advancement of the rights and dignity of people with a mental illness, and his scientific research. Other notable activities include being a consultant to the Palestinian delegation at the Camp David 2000 Summit, and his appearance as an expert witness before the United Nations-mandated Goldstone Commission on the war crimes committed during Israel’s 2008-9 military offensive “Operation Cast Lead.” His evidence on the long-term psycho-social impacts of the conflict on civil society in Gaza was quoted in the final report. The light that Iyad El-Sarraj shone into some of the darkest corners of Palestine can not be dimmed by his death. “You are the window through which I can breathe,” one of his patients once told him. His legacy of hope, and a legion of Palestinians both taught and inspired by him, will continue his important work.  During his acceptance speech at the MEA ceremony he said, “Receiving this award reminded me of one of the persons I left behind in prison. He said to me: ‘Don’t forget me… please… don’t forget me’.” The best we can do now, is the same for El Sarraj: Don’t forget him… please… don’t forget him!

For more information and a video on El Sarraj and his work see: http://www.martinennalsaward.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=83&Itemid=107&lang=en

via Palestinian Human Rights Defender Dies at 69 | Scoop News.

Igor Kalyapin, the 2nd OMCT Portrait against Torture and Impunity

December 3, 2012

The second portrait in the series of 10 HRDs against Torture is: Igor Kalyapin, founder and chair of Russian NGO Committee Against Torture (CAT).

……………….

The main obstacle we have is the same to the reason of torture: lack of effective investigation and absolute lack of will to investigate. Every case is a challenge and we never know for how many years we have to commit ourselves to deal with each of them.

Do you feel threatened because of your activities? Do you face any interference in your work? If this is the case, can you kindly precise.

Recently, we have started to face threats: our lawyers are targeted, some of them are approached by state agents, some of them were arrested, some of them were insulted. I myself now am facing a real threat to be accused of a crime that I have never committed (speaking out of investigational secret).

………………………

Public campaigns (as illustrated in the picture), support of the victims of torture, write support letters, can play a very important role in the fight against torture.

 

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/events/2012/12/d22055/