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June 26 is the UN international day to support survivors of torture around the world. An asylum seeker from Afghanistan shares her thoughts and experience on the subject

Let’s Stop Torture

June 26 is the UN international day to support survivors of torture around the world.  I hope that the following three examples will help us to contribute to urge the people not to allow torture in the world


(photo: Barbara Müller Walter, Creative Commons)
United Nations, New York (photo: Barbara Müller Walter, Creative Commons)


By Rana

I am a woman from Afghanistan and I have witnessed widespread torture in my country as I directly worked with survivors of torture for many years. Besides, we are these days witnessing the war in Syria and the fundamentalist and extremist that cause physical and psychological pain in peoples’ everyday lives.
Numerous people suffer from torture, cruel treatment,  persecution, abuse and many  other types of brutalities despite of the universal Declaration of Human Rights, that – in its first article – says:

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

read more: Haunted by Memories 

And even with the United Nations legal document called the Convention Against Torture which went into force on June 26, 1987, with its article:

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”

Many people in Afghanistan have experienced a horrible type of torture during three decades of civil war. It is common knowledge in Afghanistan that when an ethnic group captured an individual from another ethnic group, they tortured the person before killing him or her. For example by hitting nails on the persons head or cutting of the breasts. The perpetrators could also put dough around the head of the captured and then pour boiling oil on the persons head while they were laughing  and singing “come and see a dead dance.” Besides, thousands of people suffered from starvation and they ate grass to stay alive.

Moreover, practice of torturing and murdering of women after their ran way from forced marriage and or other inhuman act of violence such as beating, raping, restriction of resources and sexual harassment are rampant in Afghanistan. It is not only because of strict cultural norms and practices but also because culture of impunity is dominated on our rule of law and legal and judicial authorities turn a deaf ear to such barbarous acts. Recently, the afghan media reported the following two cases:

It broadcasted that in one of Northern Province of Afghanistan a girl escaped from forced marriage. She had been hidden for several days in a mountain with his boyfriend. There the villagers had found them and they both got killed. Also In Herat, another province of Afghanistan, an addicted husband sliced lips and ear of his wife.

A girl from Afghanistan explained me her experience here in Denmark:

“l was beaten by my uncle. Finally, my mother gave some money to a smuggler to take me to an European country to be safe from my uncle’s torture. However, on the way to Greece the smuggler rapped me.”

read more: Escape from Homeland 

We have heard of the suffering of millions of Syrian civilians. They suffer from chemical weapon, they die from injuries of bombardment. Many others have no bread to eat and they die from starvations. Others still go through a difficult life during migration despite of  the Geneva Conventions, which launched on 1864 to ensure that prisoners and civilians are treated humanely during times of war.

Finally, we are witnessing the persecuting and killing of Christians in Sudan because of their religious fate. In short, in spite of many legal documents created to prohibit crime of torture still this black poisoning spider is widespread around the world and still different group of people suffer from it.

My wish
Fortunately, 26 of June once again give us an opportunity to start our tireless efforts and pragmatic act to obliterate web of torture  by educating people about its existence. I hope people will be able to contribute to ending torture around the world.


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