Torture in any form, is absolutely unacceptable and can never be justified, UN said on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, urging great support for victims worldwide.
In his message to mark the Day, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said the “absolute prohibition” of torture is “stipulated in unequivocal terms’’ as a foundational principle, including within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“Much has been achieved in the fight against this and other cruel, inhuman, degrading punishment and treatment, yet more action is needed to eradicate torture fully.
“Torture remains unacceptable and unjustified at all times, including during states of emergency, political instability, or even in a war,’’ Guterres said.
The secretary-general also paid tribute to all those who stand in solidarity with the victims of torture and their families.
He underscored that the victims have the right to justice, rehabilitation and redress.
The International Day in Support of Victims of Torture marks the moment in 1987, when the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, came into effect.
The Day also served as a rallying cry for all stakeholders, including the UN Member States, civil society and individuals to unite in support of victims of torture and those who are still subjected to the ghastly practice.
It also highlights the need for prompt and specialised rehabilitation programmes to help victims “make the transition from horror to healing’’.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Al Hussein, said: “It takes decades to restore this broken human being as a result of the effects of a pernicious attack on their body and mind’’.
The UN rights chief also reiterated the vital role played by the Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture.
The Fund is a unique victim-focused mechanism that channels funding for the assistance to victims of torture and their families that helps over 50,000 torture victims and their families every year.
The rights chief also underlined the need for stable and peaceful States everywhere, to support victims of torture.
“If you do not pay attention to the victims and if you leave them unattended, they will keep the wounds of a State open because their suffering hasn’t been addressed,’’ he said.
Mr Al Hussein added that the fund plays a “critical role in restoring some sense of humanity to societies and societies’’ where torture is still used.