"Why have I supported the IRCT throughout many years and why would I like others to do the same? Because torture is one of the most humiliating and suppressive power mechanisms in a society. The use of torture can be found everywhere, but of course in varied degrees and with different faces. Therefore, it is very necessary that we all get to know the psychology of torture and contribute to stopping it – and for the same reason it is of utmost importance that some people investigate the many aspects of torture, the consequences of torture, and that they discover and tell the rest of us how authorities and others invent new ways of torturing. One way of getting such information is to support organizations which tirelessly call our attention to all these aspects, because it is a knowledge which needs to be repeated again and again.
For many years the IRCT, headed by Inge Genefke, has been one of the most accurate information providers and sharpest critics of the use of torture around the world. The IRCT has successfully spread the message in such a way that no society today can justify ignorance as regards the damages that torture causes for the individual as well as for society as a whole. However, torture is a means of power so strong, causing so much fear, that it would be naïve to believe that it would be abandoned, unless the citizens of a society agree to it and possess the strength and courage to protest against the use of torture. Likewise, it is important the global society supports the condemnation of torture.
Therefore, research and information about torture and its consequences are so important, and so is knowledge about and resources for treating people who have suffered torture. In order to attract fiery souls like Inge Genefke to the work, it is important to support the IRCT, thus creating a strong starting point for such fiery souls. These are some of the many reasons why I support the work against torture."
Dr Birgit Petersson
Lecturer at the Copenhagen University
What our donors say
"When asked why I support the IRCTs global work for rehabilitation of torture victims and a world without torture, the only thing that came into my mind was the “Please call me by my true names” poem by Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. His non-condemning message of compassion and interconnectedness of all things is not only deeply moving and an expression of Buddhist profoundness, it also harmonizes with Christian values, like Jesus: “Forgive them, for they know not what they do”.
Thich Nhat Hanh is a world renowned writer, spiritual leader, scholar, poet, peace activist and pioneer of “engaged Buddhism” that blends meditation with active non-violent civil disobedien ce. In 1967 he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Rev. Martin Luther King, cf. http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/025.html. The poem reflects the cruel fact that very often women suffer the most atrocious tortures only because they are women. In any situation of armed conflict, war or civil unrest, women are subjected to horrendous sufferings beyond imagination. Thich Nhat Hanh introduces his poem like this:
I have a poem for you. This poem is about the three of us. This first is a twelve-year-old girl, one of the boat people crossing the Gulf of Siam. She was raped by a sea pirate, and after that she threw herself into the sea. The second person is the sea pirate, who was born in a remote village in Thailand. And the third person is me. – When you first learn about something like that, you naturally get angry at the pirate and take the side of the girl. But I could not take sides against the sea pirate. If I could have, it would have been easier, but I couldn’t. In my meditation I realized that if I had been born in his village and had lived a similar life – economic, educational, and so on – it is likely that I would now be that sea pirate. Out of suffering, I wrote this poem. It is called “Please Call Me by My True Names”, because I have many names, and when you call me by any of them, I have to say “Yes”.
You will find the poem on http://www.quietspaces.com/poemHanh.html"
Victoria Gomez-Trenor Verges
“The IRCT is an anchor institution of the global anti-torture movement. It has made a huge contribution to the development of a worldwide network of 143 treatment centres and, in the past few years, to ensure that torture prevention and rehabilitation remain high on the agenda of governments and international institutions.
The IRCT has played a crucial role in the step by step development of the instruments and conventions prohibiting torture. It has also worked to formulate and disseminate diagnostic and treatment protocols for torture victims. It has built the organisational capacity of nascent treatment centres without which no rehabilitation services would be possible.
The IRCT is based firmly in a medical tradition of treatment and healing. Its voice is from the front line and is widely respected by policy makers. Its expertise and contribution are invaluable.”
Adrian Arena, Director, International Human Rights Programme, Oak Foundation
“I was 15, when the Second World War broke out (1939), and in 1946 I experienced the devastations of Hamburg, Bremen and Rotterdam during a student stay on the Island of Walcheren, where we assisted in rebuilding the dikes, destroyed during the capture of Antwerp.
With this experience in mind the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan (1979) caused my anxiety for a new global war. Consequently, I wrote articles about the possibilities of lowering the violence, and finally published the book Menneskerettighedstanken (Thinking of human rights with the first part: "A different book of love" by me and the second part: "Characteristics of the psychology of conscience" by chief psychiatrist Erling Jacobsen).
In my job as general practitioner I met several former concentration camp prisoners. Due to all this I contacted the RCT. It started at a meeting organised by Inge Genefke at the State Hospital in 1975 and ended by participating in the Center's external network of general practitioners.
For these reasons it became an obvious choice for me to support the RCT and IRCT with a yearly donation of a fixed amount during 10 subsequent years. This type of payment model has a double advantage: the charity organisation can do better budget planning, and the Danish tax authorities allow me to deduct the full amount from my taxable income.”
Retired Medical Practitioner