UN Day in Support of Victims of Torture

UN Poster for Victims of Torture

PSR-LA will be celebrating United Nationʼs International Day in Support of Victims of Torture with an event that commemorates the plight of torture victims internationally and brings public awareness to the 132 countries that still utilize torture as a tool, despite international law banning it. The program includes expert speakers, survivor stories, and cultural performances. It will take place on Sunday, June 25th, beginning at 2 PM, at Barnsdall Park in Hollywood. The program is free to the general public and is hosted by Program for Torture Victims, in collaboration with Amnesty International, the Congolese Community of Southern California, the International Rescue Committee, International Criminal Court Alliance, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and Physicians for Social Responsibility.

The event will focus on abuse at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib Prisons. Dr. Steven Miles, an advocate of socially responsible health care, will be speaking on the role of medicine and medical professionals in carrying out torture. Dr. Miles is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis. His forthcoming book, Oath Betrayed: Military Medicine and the War on Terror, stemmed from his attempts to learn why U.S. medical staff in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay did not report or intervene to stop the abuse of prisoners for the two years preceding the public release of the Abu Ghraib photographs. Miles has assisted victims of war and torture with the American Refugee Committee and the Center for Victims of Torture.

James Yee, the only Muslim Chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, will also be speaking on his experiences at GITMO and in the US army. While Yee joined the army with intentions of guiding Muslim prisoners and fellow Muslim officers in their faith, he instead witnessed abuse and degradation based on religion. Since being discharged from the Army, Yee has spoken out against the abuse of Muslims and the conditions in Guatanamo. He is the author of For God and Country.

Please join us at a special reception or PSR members with Dr. Miles and Chaplain Yee after the program. The cost of the reception is $50 per person. For more information, call 213-689-9170 ext 108.

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