By Jackie Kwanusu
As the world converged to commemorate the International Day in support of victims of Torture, IMLU did take the time to mark the day on June 27th at the Tamarind Hotel, Nairobi to unveil the joint civil society organizations (CSOs) shadow report.
In his opening remarks, IMLU’s Executive Director Peter Kiama reiterated that the commitment of the civil society to speak up against the atrocities meted on the citizens of Kenya remains at the forefront of our mantra of a society free from Torture and related violations. Over the years IMLU has helped thousands of survivors/ victims of torture, we continue to do this every day with our network of professionals nationally through accountability, healing, and justice.
Kiama did point out that as civil society Organizations, we recognize that there’s more that needs to be done in ensuring access to Redress and Rehabilitation for victims of torture and related violations and we remain committed to the cause.
Speaker after speaker, those who took to the podium, did mention the importance of collaborative efforts made by the human rights organizations in the fight against Torture. The guest of honor Ms. Li Fung who is the head of the Office of High Commission of Human Rights Kenya in her key note address, did mention that the fight against torture is a collective responsibility. We all should be held accountable for torture is a horrendous abuse of human rights, and is a gross violation of international law. Yet, torture continues to take place in many parts of the world. Through the support of the UN Torture Fund, torture survivors from all walks of life have a chance to regain their dignity, restore their hope, and rebuild their lives.
The culmination of the day was the launch of the UNCAT shadow report that details statistics of atrocities observed, possible laws to be enacted and recommendations documented by 21 National and international Civil Society Organizations for consideration by the United Nations Committee Against Torture at its 73rd periodic Review Session held in Geneva in 19th April-13th May 2022.
Of importance to note is that The Civil Society Organizations does call upon UNCAT to urge the government to implement recommendations contained in this report for greater protection and promotion of the rights of the people of Kenya even as we head to the general elections.