UN International Day in support of victims of torture [Archives:2003/645/Community]

June 26 2003

By Edward Prados
For the Yemen Times

As part of the Sixth Annual UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Aden-based Law Offices of Sheikh Tariq Abdullah, in cooperation with AMIDEAST, sponsored an essay competition in Aden in which advanced English language students at AMIDEAST wrote about torture. Subsequently, the essays were judged and five finalists were chosen from a field of twenty entries. The winning entry, an essay by Yusra Al-Shathli, is attached.
It is worth noting that the United Nations General Assembly has officially proclaimed 26 June as the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. It was on this day in 1987 that the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (“UN Convention against Torture”) first entered into force. Under the terms of this convention, torture is defined as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession. . . .
” The UN Convention against Torture calls for all nation-state signatories to take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territories under their jurisdiction and to make these offenses punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature.
The Republic of Yemen, one of the 132 signatory nations, acceded to this convention on 5 November 1991.