Media Advisory – Torture Day: Amnesty International supporters worldwide take to the streets in support of victims

 More than 50 Amnesty International offices to mobilize their members

 Activists on every continent will take part in worldwide action

 Organization is demanding governments around the world fulfil promises made to end torture 30 years ago

 Action focuses on five emblematic cases in five countries

From a football stadium in Mali to the doorstep of the President’s office in Ukraine, Amnesty International supporters around the world will mobilize Thursday to stand in solidarity with victims and demand the world’s governments take concerted action to stamp out torture.

Tens of thousands of the organization’s members will take part in a series of creative actions, including schoolboys with pliers turning up outside the Nigerian Embassy in London, an activist playing a giant instrument made from tools of torture in Lisbon and blindfolding statues and activists in Berlin, Rabat and Reykjavik.

Last month Amnesty International launched its new flagship campaign, Stop Torture. The organization says that 30 years on from the adoption of the UN’s Convention Against Torture, governments around the world are still being “two-faced on torture”.

“Thirty years on from the adoption of Convention Against Torture, 155 states have put pen to paper committing themselves to wiping out torture and other ill-treatment,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“Yet in 2014, more than half those states continue the practice.” 

Thursday’s campaign actions focus on demanding justice for five torture survivors:

 Claudia Medina Tamariz, from Mexico, described how the torturers gave her electric shocks and wrapped her in plastic to prevent bruising when they beat and kicked her. They sexually assaulted her, tied her to a chair and left her outside in the scorching afternoon sun.

 Spanish authorities extradited Ali Aarrass to Morocco despite fears he would be tortured. He was picked up by intelligence officers and taken to a secret detention centre, where he says they electrocuted his testicles, beat the soles of his feet and hanged him by his wrists for hours on end.

 When Moses Akatugba was arrested by soldiers in Nigeria he was 16 years old. He said they beat him and shot him in the hand. According to Moses he was then transferred to a police station, where he was hung by his limbs for hours at a police station. 

 Alfreda Disbarro from the Philippines told Amnesty International how a senior police officer pinned her against a wall, punched her repeatedly in the stomach and face, hit her with a club, poked his fingers into her eyes, slapped her, forced a mop into her mouth and banged her head against the wall. 

 In Uzbekistan, Dilorom Abdukadirova spent five years in exile after security forces in Uzbekistan opened fire on a protest she was attending. On her return she was detained, barred from seeing her family, and charged with attempting to overthrow the government.  During her trial, she looked emaciated with bruising on her face. Her family are convinced she had been tortured.

“Each complaint of torture or other ill-treatment must be investigated effectively, independently, and impartially. And we demand that torturers – whoever they are, wherever they are, and whatever their reasons for torturing – are brought to justice,” said Salil Shetty.

To arrange an interview with an Amnesty International spokesperson, please contact: Max Tucker, Press Officer for Global Campaigns, Thematic Issues and UN, on +44 207 413 5810 or [email protected] 

Out of hours Press Mobile (7pm GMT – 9am GMT and weekends) +44 (0) 777 847 2126

For more information on Amnesty International’s campaign against torture, visit the Stop Torture website: