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Erasing the culture of torture: Together we can

Erasing the culture of torture: Together we can

"Torture is banned, but in two-thirds of the world's countries it is still being committed in secret. Too many governments still allow wrongful imprisonment, murder or "disappearance" to be carried out by their officials with impunity."

Peter Benenson

On the 26th of June 2010, the world marks the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture where tribute is paid to survivors and victims of torture from across the globe. This year's theme is 'Working for a world without torture'. Under the theme, governments and communities at large are implored upon to fight for a torture free world.

Informed by the global theme, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Youth Committee developed a theme, 'Erasing the culture of torture: Together we can' for commemorations scheduled to take place on the 26th of June in the Mashonaland East town of Marondera.

Since the onset of the political crisis in Zimbabwe which saw an increase in cases of heinous human rights abuses including torture perpetrated against innocent civilians, youths have been victims on two fronts; the first, as victims of manipulation by individuals who wield political power and secondly as victims of such torture and political violence.

However, it is time that the youth stand together in defending the rights of all citizens and in advocating for a Zimbabwe free of torture and political violence. The inclusive government needs to put in place policies which bring respite to survivors of torture and their families and encourage peaceful co-existence regardless of political affiliation, gender, race, and creed. Zimbabweans are bound by their history and culture and regardless of differing opinions they are one people with one country and one vision, to see a better Zimbabwe.

The vision of a torture free country can be achieved through;

  1. Acknowledging past cases of torture and bringing all perpetrators regardless of their positions in society, to account for their actions without fear or favour
  2. The government ratifying the Convention Against Torture (CAT)
  3. Erasing the culture of torture within our society

Zimbabweans need to remain cognisant of the fact that, 'Brave men do not gather by thousands to torture and murder a single individual, so gagged and bound he cannot make even feeble resistance or defence.' (Ida B. Wells).

Let us stand united against torture. Together we can!

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