While July was an incredibly busy month for the anti-torture movement, one story stood out beyond the rest: the trauma experienced in Gaza amidst the current context of war.
Over 1,200 people are dead in the war in Gaza, the majority of whom are civilians. Families are being torn apart by the war, cities are being destroyed and support mechanisms which typically assist rehabilitation and rebuilding are being destroyed at a ferocious rate.
The IRCT has three centres in the Palestine-Gaza territory – all have felt the effects of this war first hand.
In order to show the strain the people on the ground are under, the IRCT published a story summarising the strain the centres face and the growing problem of trauma which has spread throughout Gaza – trauma which would normally be treated but cannot be effectively in this instance due to the relentless destruction present every day.
The IRCT will continue to monitor the situation in Gaza closely and will encourage the international community to remember the importance of rehabilitation and support mechanisms which assist society in regaining strength.
The situation in Ukraine has been unstable ever since anti-government protests began last year.
Yet now, with the continued battles in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces, torture reports and incidences have been extremely prevalent on the radar.
In order to gather some perspective on how often these incidences of torture are reported, the IRCT spoke to its member in the region about the realities of torture in eastern Ukraine and what the international community could be doing to stop this crime.
Still in Europe, our most popular blog this month focused on the possible fallout human rights organisations in Europe could expect with the recent changes in the European Parliament.
To give a full and fair perspective on the possible changes, we spoke with IRCT Advocacy Advisor Elena Zacharenko, based in the IRCT’s European Affairs Office, who outlined the main changes in the european political landscape and speculated how these alterations may impact on the priorities of human rights organisations.
It seems like a long time ago already when hundreds of human rights groups united around the world to campaign for the end of torture.
However it was only last month when thousands of people across the globe voiced their support and solidarity for victims of torture and condemned the practice of torture perpetrated in a variety of contexts.
The main theme for the 26 June campaign was #NoMoreImpunity, a theme replicated across all the IRCT materials for the day – many of which are viewable in the photo blog summarising the highlights of the day.
Since April we have been publicising ten hard-hitting, insightful, harrowing stories from female survivors of torture and sexual violence of the Rwandan Genocide in 1994.
Twenty years after the genocide these brave women, and many more throughout Rwandan, are still seeking therapy and justice. But it is thanks to the provision of therapy that many of these women are overcoming their past.
We focused on ten stories over the exact 100 day period of the genocide, each with a different theme and experience. All of the stories are featured in the IRCT’s latest publication of Torture Journal, which you can read in full here.
July signalled a positive step towards the global fight against impunity with Sweden adopting a new law which grants them international jurisdiction to try perpetrators of torture, no matter how historic the cases of torture may be.
The law, which is expected to be expanded upon once more in January 2015, was welcomed by the IRCT as a positive step in assuring victims of torture receive justice and redress for their torture.
The IRCT also wishes to congratulate the Swedish Red Cross who were instrumental in assuring this law was possible.