Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks for the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, observed today:
Torture is an egregious abuse of human rights. International law unequivocally prohibits torture in all instances. Yet, torture continues in many countries, even those where it is criminalized.
On this International Day in Support of the Victims of Torture, human rights defenders and survivors of torture around the world take the opportunity to speak out against this abhorrent denial of human dignity and they act to remember and support its victims.
Torture diminishes everyone and everything that it touches, including torturers and the systems and States where it occurs. Torturers must never be allowed to get away with their crimes, and systems that enable torture should be dismantled or transformed.
Victims and survivors and their families must be empowered and assisted to seek justice for their ordeal. To that end, I commend the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture and call for its replenishment.
On this International Day, let us honour the victims of torture and commit to work to achieve a world where such abuse cannot happen.