Mr. Safa's Speech on 10 June
The Secretary General Speech on the International Day for supporting victims of Torture and the Tenth Aniversary of Founding Khiam Center
As each year, we celebrate the occasion of June 26, the International Day for Supporting Victims of Torture, in the context of activities organized by the United Nations and the IRCT, the International Rehabilitation for Victims of Torture.
However, this year is special because we are celebrating the Tenth Aniversary of Founding Khiam Center.
Khiam Center has been founded as an outcome of the Follow-Up Committee that supported the issue of detainees. Even though Khiam Center has an independent entity, but it is an extension of the Follow up Committee with is distinguished experience, and its historic role in following up the issue of the detainees and disapppeared persons.
Moreover, this month Khiam Center has obtained the consultative status at the Economic and Social Council of the United States (ECOSOC), which opens a new horizon for the Center to reinforce our struggle in the International Community in supporting the issue of the freed detainees and human rights.
In this conference we will not be able to show all the center’s achievements over the past ten years, but we are going to present a comprehensive document on the Centre's activities and achievements. Besides, we emphasize on the following:
First of all, Khiam Center has launched the first rehabilitation project for the freed detainees in Israeli prisons. The project also included all torture victims and former detainees in Syrian prisons, and mothers of the disappeared, in addition to the Medical, Social, and psychological assistance provided to Lebanese prisoners since 2009.
The total number of beneficiaries since1999 until 2009 has reached the following:
- 5242 medical aids.
- 910 social aids.
- 288 psychological aids.
- 155 cocational training sessions.
- 495 cases in the Lebanese prisons.
During July War 2006, Khiam Center provided 2900 medical aids, 1500 food units, and 2300 gifts to children.
Second, by the end of 2009, the center started to implement two new project, the first aimed at enhancing the Iraqi Refugees skills in partnership with the IRD(International Relief Development), and the second project was to reduce the marginalization of women whether they were subjected to torture or domestic violence.
Moreover, Khiam Center has devoted the 26th of June as a national occasion in which all the educational institutions and civil society organizations participate in supporting all victims of torture and fighting violence and sectarianism.
The center has also announced several reports and documents on the cluster bombs, spying Israeli networks, Palestinian prisoners, and the mothers of the disappeared in Syrian prisons, in addition to several reports on the human rights situations in Lebanon and the racist practices and violations against the Syrian workers in Lebanon after the assassination of Rafik Al Hariri.
Khiam after has also announced many documents about the Israeli violations and many medical and psychological reports about the suffering of victims of torture, and many other reports on discrimination against women. All these reports and documents were submitted to the United Nations and the International Community.
The center has continued its its active participation in the regular sessions of the Human Rights Council in the United Nations Headquarter in Geneva, involving the cases of former detainees.
Khiam center had also an essential role through participating in many International conferences in Istanbul, Vienna, Paris, and Berlin, where we presented our call against torture and violence.
The Center had an essential role, not only in Lebanon, but also in the International Community through presenting the cases of freed detainees and enforced disappeared person and torture cases in Arab Countries in the Human Rights Council Sessions in Geneva.
The center remained independent and stayed away from all political and sectarian conflicts, and declared the slogan: Sectarianism is Torture.
Indeed, Khiam Center has presented a new image of the real commitment to human rights principles which were disfigured by many fake advocated of human rights.
For us, to be a human right defender is to stand by the Palestinians and their prisoners, and call for breaking the siege of Ghaza.
To be a human right defender, is revolt for the rights of victims of cluster bombs and mines in Southern Lebanon in front of the international Community.
To be a human right defender, is to raise your voice and revolt against Israeli spying networks which led to the Israeli massacres in July war.
To be a human right defender, is stand for the victims of torture and call for fair punishment to the criminals according to the International standards, and reject all sorts of sectarianism.
To be a human right defender is to stand by the victims of torture regardless to their affiliation or religious views.
Khiam Center has always been committed to these principles, and will always be committed to what is righteous, regardless to the donor’s orders or any national or international agenda.
We are celebrating the International Day for Supporting victims of torture while the phenomenon of violence, torture, and murder is increasing day by day, and the scenes of torture act produced by the sectarian system is still continuing, and consequently will produce civil war and conflicts.
On this occasion, we invite to be part of a wide official campaign against torture and violence, and call for legalizing laws that consider torture a crime, and put a serious plan to put an end to the disastrous Lebanese situations, and prepare an urgent formation for the national preventive mechanism to monitor the Lebanese prisons, and ask for a serious solutions to the cases of the Palestinian refugees and Iraqi refugees who are in need to medical, social, and psychological assistance.
On this occasion, we call for spreading the culture of nonviolence in the educational and social institutions.