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Why talk about torture?

The NAM team took part in a discussion initiated by the International Committee against Torture on the platform of the Belarusian Youth Hub in Warsaw. The discussion with the documenter and the victim took place as part of the Week against Torture.

Telling the story can be very difficult for a victim — a person goes through the traumatic experience ones again. Is it worth overcoming oneself and talking about one’s experience in public?

Of course, it depends on the wish, inner state and personal circumstances of the victim. However, drawing attention to the problem is essential.

Angelika Melnikova, NAM Project Coordinator: "Collecting evidence and documenting it is a very important job that human rights defenders do with care and responsibility. This is what will become the evidence base for future fair trials. However, we are convinced that the democratic society and human rights organizations should not just talk about the problem today but raise the alarm — as it was in 2020, because torture and mockery of political prisoners do not stop in Belarus to this day. Frankly speaking, so far not a single victim’s statement has been taken up in a way that would bring tangible results and the perpetrator would be punished. Let’s be honest, it is impossible to fully prosecute those who have used torture or given criminal orders as long as the regime remains in power. However, we can and must try to see how the mechanism of universal jurisdiction works in the countries which signed the Convention against Torture. Working in this direction will give us a chance to at least put criminals on the international wanted list and make them feel the inevitability of punishment".

During the Week against Torture our team organized a round table, which together with Polish lawyers discussed specific steps to speed up the processing of complaints of Belarusians in Poland. In addition, lawyers from the NAM team took part as experts in a special stream on Malanka Media. This week we also worked directly with victims, lawyers and investigators based in Lithuania, Switzerland, Norway, and the UK.

The NAM project "Mechanisms of Universal Jurisdiction against the Lukashenko regime" is a real chance to put the principles of international law into practice and get results today.

We remind you that we are looking for victims who want to use the opportunity to bring criminals to justice using the mechanisms of universal jurisdiction.

It’s time to act!


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