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UN: The prohibition of torture is absolute under all circumstances

  • Published at 12:27 am June 27th, 2019
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Every June 26, UN observes an International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

The International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is annually observed on June 26, to remind the world's population that human torture is not only unacceptable but is also a crime.

Observing this year's International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, on Wednesday, June 26, UN issued a statement saying that the prohibition of torture is absolute – under all circumstances.

However, this core principle is undermined every day in detention centres, prisons, police stations, psychiatric institutions, and elsewhere, the statement said.

The world is moving towards universal ratification of the UN's Convention against Torture, currently ratified by 166 states who are ensuring that national laws, and practices are in line with the convention, the statement further stated.

Torture usually happens behind closed doors, therefore it is crucial for independent international and national human rights mechanisms to open those doors, and the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture does exactly that, as it has visited more than 100 prisons, and other institutions, and has interviewed more than 1,000 detainees, officials, law enforcement personnel, and medical staff this year as well. 

The statement further said, in all our work, we must support victims, and ensure respect for their right to rehabilitation, and redress.

This victim-centred approach guides the UN Voluntary Fund for the Victims of Torture, which assists nearly 50,000 victims of torture annually in some 80 countries, and this has helped UN better understand different dimensions of torture, including the use of sexual, and gender-based violence, and the specific assistance that different kinds of survivors of torture need.

Saying that torture is a vicious attempt at breaking a person’s will, marking the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, in the statement, the UN Secretary General urged all countries to end impunity for perpetrators, and eradicate these reprehensible acts that defy our common humanity.