Hope to heal

The 2014 UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

Every year, on the 26 June, we at QPASTT, come together to honour those who have been tortured, with a message of support.

This year also marked 27 years since the UN Convention against Torture came into effect as the prime document in which torture is declared a crime and in which the state is declared responsible. Unfortunately, the crimes of torture continue to occur every day; and those crimes of torture are committed with impunity. Impunity is the failure of the state to fully investigate violations; to bring to justice and punish perpetrators; to provide victims with effective remedies; and to take all necessary steps to prevent the violation from happening again. Impunity for the crimes of torture is a major problem around the world today. Impunity remains an important impediment for the prevention of torture. Impunity also means we have failed the victims of torture …. But there is hope, evidenced by hundreds of organisations around the world joining in their support for victims. Together, we can remove the obstacles and end impunity.

At QPASTT, we raised our voices against impunity for the crimes of torture with a moving ceremony followed by a morning tea. We were joined at the ceremony by Her Excellency the former Governor of Queensland, Penelope Wensley. Her Excellency was asked, along with other guests, to write a message of hope to all victims of torture. At the ceremony we were entertained by Tenzin Choegyal and the QPASTT choir. Nigel Brennan delivered an inspiring speech and Arwin Arwin presented a moving poem that he had written himself.