Gathering for the 15th year in a row, TASSC International convened survivors of torture from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas for its annual Survivors Week in Washington DC commemorating the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26.
As in years past, the week culminated in an inspiring 12-hour vigil in front of the White House, led by TASSC members Dilkhwaz Ahmed and Anthonly Ibeagha.
“This year’s Survivor Week was one of the most moving and inspiring weeks we have done,” said Demissie Abebe, director of the Torture Abolition and Survivor Support Coalition (TASSC International).
“When you see so many new survivors and old working together to prepare the vigil, constructing the stage and the program, it really gives me hope that survivors together can do so much to end torture and empower one another. At the same time, we get discouraged when we see so many survivors from the Horn of Africa who continue to flee torture and seek asylum in the U.S.”
For several years now, many human rights and faith-based organizations have joined together to commemorate June as “Torture Awareness Month.” The National Consortium of Torture Treatment Centers estimates there are more than 500,000 survivors of torture living in the U.S., and as many as 50,000 living in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area…