Come to a Public Rally on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, Trafalgar Square, June 26, 2011

19.6.11

“This is a day on which we pay our respects to those who have endured the unimaginable. This is an occasion for the world to speak up against the unspeakable.”
Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General

On Sunday June 26, 2011, the International Day in Support of the Victims of Torture, I’ll be speaking in Trafalgar Square as part of an event organised by the London Guantánamo Campaign and Kingston Peace Council/CND. The event runs from 2-4 pm, and speakers include:

Andy Worthington, journalist
Maya Evans, Justice Not Vengeance
Ilyas Townsend, Justice for Aafia Coalition
Maria Gallastegui, Peace Strike
Naomi Colvin, UK Friends of Bradley Manning

There will also be speakers from Amnesty International, Stop The War Coalition, the International Committee Against Disappearances and the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, and others to be announced.

I’m delighted to take part in this event, as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, established by the UN in 1998 on the 11th anniversary of the day in 1987 on which the UN Convention Against Torture was initially ratified, is an important day for raising awareness of the need to provide support to torture victims, and also to remind other nations — not least the US and the UK — that Article 2.2 of the UN Convention Against Torture states, “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”

As a result, those of us concerned with upholding the absolute prohibition on the use of torture — and the obligation on states who have ratified the convention to prosecute those who authorised or undertook torture — will continue to emphasise that President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have failed in their obligation to thoroughly investigate the crimes committed by the Bush administration, and to hold accountable those who authorized the use of torture (and the Supreme Court has failed too), and that the British government still has an obligation to investigate, openly and honestly, British complicity in torture, both as a result of its close alliance with the US in the “War on Terror,” and also in its own forays into working with foreign torturers, in Pakistan and elsewhere.

This is how the organisers describe the importance of the day:

In spite of laws to protect human rights, torture remains prevalent throughout the world. Men, women, children and entire communities are subject to unspeakable atrocities and the effects that live with them long after the violence ends. We invite you to come and stand up against these atrocities, and join us in solidarity with the victims.

For further information, email the London Guantánamo Campaign or Kingston Peace Council, or phone Aisha on 07809 757176 or Noel on 020 8395 2656. Also see the Facebook page.

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and YouTube). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in June 2011, details about the new documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, on tour in the UK throughout 2011, and available on DVD here — or here for the US), my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

15 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Robin Laurain wrote:

    Wish I could be there.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    Me too, Robin.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Betsy Kawamura wrote:

    I am working with North Korean issues so this is important.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Laila Lavely wrote:

    I’d love to be there! You go!!! You rock!!!

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Robin, George, Betsy and Laila, and thanks also to everyone who has shared this. Robin, George and Laila, I’d love to see you there too!

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    Dugg and now being shared.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Ghaliyaa Haq wrote:

    Oh how I wish! I’m in the US and I’m unable to afford a way there… maybe sometime though! :-)

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Fufu Peace Messenger wrote:

    I will send you my love, respect & peace and will pray for all the best for you… great job!

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    I wish I could come too, Andy. But cannot, for medical reasons only.

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Ciudadano Kane Kane wrote:

    shared!

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Thank you, my friends. Ghaliyaa and Fufu, you’re added to the list of those I’d love to see in London!

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Sylvia P. Coley wrote:

    Andy, I wish you well, sounds so great! You deserve it! Wish I could be there.

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    I wish you could be there too, Sylvia. Thanks!

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    London Guantánamo Campaign wrote:

    thanks, it’s up at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=225756180784961
    too

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    Lotta Leben wrote:

    Andy – I feel the need to warn you about a possible started war against Syria after this day soon!
    Turkey prepares the NATO bases for a large amount of enforcements and in Germany the US troops are gathering from other countries!
    Additional are rumours and some more, that the secret armies of the NATO (gladio, CIA, MI6 and their terror special units) will blow up the opening game of the women’s soccer world championship in the Berlin Olympia Stadium on 26th of June with a dirty nuke! Of course this is not the same as to blast off some busses in London or the public traffic in Spain! Because such an event is visited by their people too – who never would use the public transport systems – they gave some secret hints about the attack to warn their compadre criminals, to avoid the visit of the opening game is reported by activists.
    The Olympia stadion is a giant construction from the 3rd Reich and beyond the soil are deep giant chambers, which are filled up with gas for the supply of the city. The chambers are safe for bombs from the sky – even nuclear attacks, but not from inside! If some thousand peopla die and the German capital is devastated, they can do the same as they always did, if they wanted to start a war: Syria sent the terrorists and is threatening the security of the world !
    A german lawyer has already accused our chancelessness at the court for conspiracy against the nation and membershp in secret gangs!
    Even if it is only rumours – which I don’t believe, because the date and time matches exactly with the development of terror in Syria and the German public media – the creator of the official politics, “political correctness” and public opinion – it’s important to spread this rumors! Because if it’s true, they may change their plan because it is not easy to blame Syria for an attack in Berlin, if the public news have already revealed the plan as false flag attack!

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