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International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
June 2010

Central topic of this year's campaign was the Optional protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) and the State's obligations according to it, primarily the obligation to establish an independent National Preventive Mechanism. This year IAN commemorated this year the 26th of June the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture with several events.

At the press conference we organised on June 23rd IAN wanted to draw public attention to the obligation of the state of Serbia to establish or designate one or several independent national mechanisms for prevention of torture, accepted by the ratification of the UN Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and by ratifying the OPCAT in 2006. The OPCAT aims at establishing regular monitoring visits of international and domestic expert bodies to all places where people are deprived of their liberty in order to prevent torture and other forms of maltreatment. Serbia still has not established the NPM although this was due three years ago. Speakers at the conference were:

 

   
 
  • Thomas Gnocchi , Head of Political Sector in the Delegation of the EU to Serbia
  • Milos Jankovic , Deputy Ombudsman for persons deprived of their liberty
  • Sandrina Speh Vujadinovic , Coordinator of IAN Centre for Rehabilitation of Torture Victims
  • Ljiljana Palibrk, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights
  • Ðorde Alempijevic, Institute of Forensic Medicine , Medical Faculty, Belgrade Univeristy
The campaign activities included also the Internet game Let`s erase torture , designed by the IRCT, which has been translated and posted on IAN web site with the aim to raise awareness and educate general population about the issue of torture in an amusing way. Play the game !
   

Final event was a dance and music capoeira performance . It was organised on 26 th June in one of the most visited Belgrade parks and tourist attractions - the Kalemegdan fortress. Around 300 citizens and tourists enjoyed watching the performance during which IAN activists have distributed educative flyers related to the issue of torture, availability of services for victims and obligation of the state according to the OPCAT. Capoeira performance symbolically represented the fight against torture and its perpetrators. Video clips are available on IAN in Media and on IAN Facebook profile.

Capoeira dance and music performance TOGETHER AGAINST TORTURE
Belgrade, Serbia, June 26, 2010

 

During the week of commemoration of June 26 th , IAN professionals working in IAN CRTV were guests in several TV programs where they talked about the OPCAT and importance of prevention of torture and ensuring rehabilitation for victims. High coverage of IAN June 26 th activities by the media has been recorded with more than 30 appearances in the electronic and print media. Media highlights are available on IAN in Media .

Two Centres for rehabilitation of torture victims established within the project with the support of IAN in Trebinje and Milici (BiH) also organised activities for commemorating June 26 th . Both CRTV Trebinje and CRTV Milici organised a press conference focused on OPCAT, presence of torture and its consequences. In addition, the Centre in Trebinje organised a concert for youth population and the Centre in Milici organised a youth handball tournament. The visitors of the events received educative flyers aimed at raising awareness about the issue of torture, obligation of the State with regard to prevention of torture, punishment of perpetrators and ensuring rehabilitation for victims.

Handball tournament Together against Torture
Milici, BIH, June 26, 2010
Press conference on OPCAT
Trebinje, BiH, June 25, 2010

The campaign activities are a part of the IAN project Comprehensive Rehabilitation Program for Torture Victims in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina financed by the European Commission and co-financed by the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture (UNVFVT).

 

 


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