From Greece to Burkina Faso - Activists get ready to rally for torture survivors

From Chile to France, from Thailand to Algeria, all around the world activists are getting ready to take action for a week around 26 June, International Day In Support of Victims of Torture.

Erini from Greece and Hassan from Burkina Faso tell us how they’ll be marking the day.

Eirini Tsolaki, Activist and Vice-President, Amnesty International Greece

On 26 June, I’ll be walking around Athens with friends and fellow activists to places where people have been tortured, including the sites that were used during the dictatorship in Greece in the 1960/70’s.

We’ll raise awareness about the people who were tortured; 29 of them became founding members of Amnesty Greece.
Eirini Tsolaki

We’ll raise awareness about the people who were tortured; 29 of them became founding members of Amnesty Greece. They got together forty years ago after they received solidarity letters from activists around the world: they wanted to do the same for other torture victims. Amnesty Greece was born.

I soon joined, and over the next 35 years, I helped organize many creative actions to speak about torture around the world. Each time a prisoner was released, we felt emboldened in our push for other victims of torture.

 I want to look back in my old-age and know that I have achieved something. And this is the message I would like to pass-on to new activists: they should continue carrying the flame against torture even though they have no personal memories of torture. They can accomplish much more than we did.

One day, I hope, the 26 June will no longer be a day of action, but a Day of Remembrance.
Eirini Tsolaki

There is nothing positive about the feeling of injustice. But when people rise up and fight to stop torture in countries of the world that they cannot even spell, like Uzbekistan, that’s a positive and powerful message. To those that ask us if there is hope in taking action in such a faraway country, we reply “Not fighting is not an option!”

One day, I hope, the 26 June will no longer be a day of action, but a Day of Remembrance. 


Hassan Tapsoba, Activist, Amnesty International Burkina Faso

On 26 June, I’ll be running a relay race alongside 50 other young activists from Koudougou, Burkina Faso. It’s our way of showing solidarity to all those who have been victims of torture worldwide. For me, it’s also a reminder to continue to fight against torture

We’ll be passing a torch to everyone who takes part in the race and the torch symbolizes our message against torture.  At the end of the relay race, we’ll stop passing the torch, symbolizing our arrival at a destination where all torture is abolished.

For me, the Stop Torture campaign, is simply about respecting everyone’s dignity! the dignity of each individual!
Hassan Tapsoba

We want to grab the attention of those who torture and put an end to their crimes. But above all we want to say to the victims of torture: here is a chain of solidarity and we will make sure anyone who tortures will not get away with it.

 

Find out more about how you can get involved locally for the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, 26 June.