Speaking Out Against Torture

Speaking Out Against Torture

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Andrea Barron
June 28, 2012

As part of the advocacy component of the Torture Abolition Civic Engagement Project, 40 TWC summer interns and 10 torture survivors spoke out against torture on Capitol Hill. The Torture Abolition Civic Engagement Project is organized by The Torture Abolition and Survivor Support Coalition (TASSC). TASSC is the only organization founded by and for torture survivors to end torture and empower survivors and their communities. Interns received extensive training by TASSC, which is also a long-time TWC internship host.


During the project, student-survivor teams focused on the conditions faced by torture survivors incarcerated in immigration detention centers throughout the country. Students were also briefed by a panel from the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services about immigration detention.


Philip Armstrong from Wake Forest University said that “working on this civic engagement project with TASSC was extremely meaningful. It felt like I was making a huge difference on an international issue.” Philip was on a team with Hussein Osman, a torture survivor from Ethiopia, who received political asylum in Norway. Hussein felt “the students did an amazing job discussing alternatives to immigration detention and human rights violations in Ethiopia. The students participating in the project represent a new generation of human rights activists in the U.S. and our future will be better because of them.”


Menuka Ban from Nepal, who now attends Mississippi University for Women, said spending time with survivors has made her stronger. “When I hear stories about the horrible things they have gone through motivates me and helps me overcome obstacles I have faced in my own life."


[View photos of the event on our Flickr channel]

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