Tajikistan marks International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

Tajikistan’s Bureau on Human Rights and Rule of Law (BHR) has conducted an action “Let’s Say No to Torture!” under support of Amnesty International (AI).

The action was conducted on June 25, on the eve of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, which is marked on June 26.

An exhibition telling nine photo stories has been organized within the framework of the action. These stories are based on cases of six Tajik nationals – Hamzali Ikromzoda, Khurshed Bobokalonov, Bahromiddin Shodiyev, Safarali Sangov, Ismoil Bachajonov and Dilshodbek Murodov, who died during detention or in prison. Three other photo stories telling similar facts have been provided by BHR’s partners from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

The second component of the action reportedly included the presentation of a documentary book entitled “Ruined Fortunes, Taken Lives.”  Press release issued by BHR says the book, which is published in three languages (Tajik, Russian and English), contains eight real stories of victims of torture and cruel treatment in Tajikistan.

The Coalition of NGOs against Torture in Tajikistan participated in the action.

Rehabilitation centers and human rights organizations around the world celebrate the UN’s International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26 each year. The day serves as a reminder to people that torture is a crime. This event gives everyone a chance to unite and voice their opinions against human torture.

Organizations, including the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims and Amnesty International, have played an active role in organizing events around the world to promote the day. Activities may include: photo exhibitions; the distribution of posters and other material to boost people’s awareness of issues related to human torture; and television advertisements.

On June 26, 1987, the Convention against Torture came into force. It was an important step in the process of globalizing human rights and acknowledging that torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment should be universally illegal. In 1997 the United Nations General Assembly decided to mark this historic date and designated June 26 each year as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The first International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was held on June 26, 1998. It was a day when the United Nations appealed to all governments and members of civil society to take action to defeat torture and torturers everywhere. That same year marked the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which proclaims that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.