Statement of the NGO Coalition against torture in Tajikistan on the occasion of the International Day in support of the victims of torture

The Coalition of NGOs against Torture - which consists of several independent law consultancy groups – has called on President Emomali Rahmon to join public censure of torture and officially declare zero tolerance against torture in the country.

An appeal made by the Coalition to President Rahmon on June 26 on the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, in particular, notes that despite positive steps taken by the government, torture remains an enduring problem within Tajikistan’ penitentiary system.

In their appeal, human rights activists draw attention of the president to the difference in the number of torture complaints registered by NGOs and those reflected in official statistics.

They also express concern over the fact that impunity of officials has also become a systematic problem that abets further spread of torture.

The Coalition calls on the president to adopt a complex and long-term program to fight torture and ensure the establishment of the special fund to provide assistance to victims of torture.

The United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is held annually on June 26 to speak out against the crime of torture and to honor and support victims and survivors throughout the world.

The day was selected by the United Nations General Assembly for two reasons. First, on June 26, 1945, the United Nations Charter was signed – the first international instrument obliging UN members to respect and promote human rights. Second, 26 June 1987 was when the United Nations Convention against Torture came into effect.

The decision to annually observe the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was taken by the UN General Assembly at the proposal of Denmark, which is home to the world-renowned International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT). IRCT is an independent, international health professional organization that promotes and supports the rehabilitation of torture victims and works for the prevention of torture worldwide.

The first June 26 events were launched in 1998. Since then, dozens of organisations in dozens of countries mark the day each year with events, celebrations and campaigns.

Every year the IRCT monitors the campaign plans of organisations around the world and towards the end of the year publishes the June 26 Global Report where it describes the events held in commemoration of the day.