The 26th of June every year marks International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Every year NCHRO holds events to mark the day and play our part in raising awareness of the crime of torture and the right of victims to appropriate rehabilitation services.
On Saturday, 15 July 2017, The NCHRO Tamilnadu Chapter hosted a seminar at Annamalai Hotel, Coimbatore in solidarity with victims of torture and to reiterate the fact that torture is a gross and cruel violation of human rights. We believe that the humanity and dignity of both perpetrators and victims is inevitably shattered by the use of torture. The seminar started with a welcome address by Ibrahim Badusha , NCHRO Tamilnadu Chapter and their after introductory remarks by Mohamed Janib, NCHRO national co-ordinator.
Adv.Shajahan, General Secretary, NCHRO Tamilandu Chapter presented an overall picture of the human rights abuses and remedial measures taken by NCHRO during the period.
In his keynote, Adv.Bhavani Mohan, President, NCHRO Tamilnadu Chapter, emphasized that it is our responsibility to condemn the use of torture in its all form, to promote the use of rules and protocols for its prevention. Thousands of peoples have experienced and continue to experience multiple forms of torture and ill-treatment at the hands of authorities without justice, redress, or rehabilitation. Even children are not safe from these practices. Working from one case to another we struggle against impunity. Torture is democracy’s antithesis and a tool of an autocratic or despotic state. We see that the government’s efforts to protect institutions involved in such heinous practices are actually undermining the principles of openness, fairness, and equality that are supposed to be hallmarks of democracy. All persons and organizations shall be equal before the courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal charge, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial jury established by law. Equality before the law is a fundamental concept of our legal system.
Mohamed Sheikh Ansari, Vice President, Popular Front of India, Tamilnadu, said that Torture is an assault on human dignity and is abhorrent. Together we have to fight against torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. To the governments, civil society organizations, survivors, and others those who really want to end torture have lot to do in this regard. Societies are either forget or willfully ignoring torture. The horrific case of the torture of Nalini Sriharan, Rajiv Gandhi’s assassin narrated in her autobiography shows that torture continues as a phenomenon today. In jail for more than 25 years now, the world’s longest serving woman prisoner Nalini’s narrative of her ordeal in the custody of special investigation team (SIT) probing Rajiv assassination gives shocking disregard for basic humanity.
Used as a weapon of oppression, fear and repressive control, torture claims the lives of thousands of people across the country. Interrogations, deprivation, starvation, beatings, and psychological torture and other modern torture techniques which leave no Marks of Torture .
Adv. M.Anandhan from Tamil Murpoku Eluthalar Sangam also spoke. This Seminar passed resolutions on various human rights issues presented by Adv.Barkathulla, Dindugal.
The seminar concluded by urging the civil society’s active involvement to stand against torture and asked the authorities to ensure that any public official who commits torture; attempts to commit torture; or incites, instigates, commands or procures any person to commit torture should be guilty of the offence of torture and should be charged liable to imprisonment, including imprisonment for life. The penalty for the crime of torture must also reflect the gravity of the crime. National legislation must recognize the right to remedy and reparation for victims of torture.
Adv.Nizam, Thanjavur proposed vote of thanks.