On 26th June 2016, Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) and its partners ND-Burma, Wimutti Volunteer Group and Ta’ang Women Organization jointly organized a public event to mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture in Yangon, Myanmar.
The event was attended by more than 200 people. The speakers highlighted that acts of torture are happening during police detention, including of political prisoners, but also in ethnic areas affected by conflict. Zin Mar Aung, a member of Parliament, said during her keynote speech that the government as well as the citizens have a responsibility and a duty to work to end this type of violence. Patrick Burgess, AJAR’s President also emphasized the importance of accepting the truth: “Unless we accept that torture is happening, we won’t be able to stop it. The fact that a member of Parliament came today to speak here is already an important step in the right direction.”
Torture survivors, including former political prisoners and women from Kachin and Ta’ang areas, testified to the impact of torture and impunity on their lives and called for justice and support for torture survivors. AJAR and its partners urge Myanmar government to act and provide reparations for victims of torture, by providing acknowledgement and rehabilitation programs.