Daily Archives: Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Creating a world without torture: April in review

World Without Torture

We summarise some of the biggest news stories, statements, events and news from the World Without Torture blog, Facebook and Twitter pages over the month of April.

Don’t forget to keep checking the blog in the coming weeks for more. And click here to visit our Facebook page, and here to visit our Twitter feed.

Audience at the event

IRCT marks 40 years of the anti-torture movement with a special Copenhagen event

On 8 April 2014, the IRCT hosted a large event – including members, donors, and staff of the IRCT – to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the anti-torture movement, which began in Denmark and spread across the globe.

The event marks 40 years since human rights defender, Dr Inge Genefke, placed an advertisement requesting help from doctors willing to investigate torture in Chile, an advert which encouraged the development of the first medical group…

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Fukushima disaster refugees suffering

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This music video from Japan is the song Fuck Tepco, by punk rock band Scrap from Fukushima, the members of which lost everything in the nuclear disaster.

From the Asahi Shimbun in Japan:

Survey: Half of Fukushima evacuee households split up; distress rife in families

April 29, 2014

FUKUSHIMA–Nearly half of households that evacuated following the Fukushima nuclear disaster have been split up while close to 70 percent have family members suffering from physical and mental distress, a survey showed.

The number of households forced to live apart exceeds the number that remain together, according the survey, the first by the Fukushima prefectural government that attempted to survey all households that evacuated.

The results were announced on April 28.

Between late January and early February, Fukushima Prefecture mailed the surveys to 62,812 households living within and outside the prefecture.

Of the 20,680 respondents, 16,965 households, or…

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Again, refugee boat disaster in Greek waters

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video says about itself:

Tragedy with Refugees in Farmakonisi, Greece

21 January 2014

Greek coast guards drowned the refugees pushing them back to Turkey. 3 women and 9 children were drowned in this incident.

While there is some reasonably good news about birds in Greece (and other countries), today there is bad news about human beings in Greece.

From ANSA news agency in Italy:

Greece: at least two dead as migrant boat sinks off Samos

05 May, 10:01

ATHENS, MAY 5 – At least two people have drowned and another 30 are missing after two boats crammed with immigrants trying to illegally enter the country sank in the eastern Aegean Sea, as daily Kathimerini online reports quoting Greek authorities. A coast guard said in a statement the vessels foundered off the island of Samos near the Turkish coast before dawn Monday. It said 36 people were…

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Anti-Polish xenophobic crime in Northern Ireland

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This is a video about Combat 18, a British neo-nazi terrorist organisation responsible for much violence in Northern Ireland.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Poland’s envoy concerned by attacks on Polish families in east Belfast

Jerome Mullan to hold talks with Police Service of Northern Ireland over rise in assaults and hate crimes

Henry McDonald

Monday 5 May 2014 20.07 BST

Poland‘s diplomatic representative to Northern Ireland has expressed concern over a spike in xenophobic attacks on Polish families in Belfast.

The Polish consul is to hold talks with the Police Service of Northern Ireland on Tuesday over the rise in assaults and hate crimes directed at the Polish population in the city. Three homes where Polish families lived were attacked in east Belfast over the weekend with windows smashed and graffiti sprayed on hoardings with the words “locals only”.

The PSNI has blamed the Ulster Volunteer…

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Sudanese Christian woman, enslaved for 19 years, liberated for $50

~~Defender of Faith~Guardian of Truth~~

ayul Capture Ayul Aguer

She was kidnapped in South Sudan before she was even a teenager and forced by her Muslim captor to the North. Subjected to beatings, forced genital mutilation, and commanded to “pray like a Muslim,” she found liberation after 19 painful years.

“I was captured in 1994 in Gok Machar.  I was still young, not yet a teenager.  Six of us were captured.  Three of us refused to go to the North.  They were killed.  My hands were tied to a horse to pull me along.  We walked all day without rest, and we weren’t treated when we were sick,” Ayul Aguer told those who worked for her release at Christian Solidarity International (CSI).

christian solidarityCapture

 After they arrived at their destination, her new master – a man named Mohammad Jamos, sold two of the remaining three victims, so only Ayul remained as his servant.

“He did not treat me well,”…

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Events: Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture 2014: Registration now open (Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford)

The Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, is pleased to invite you to the Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture 2014

Impossible situations: affective impasses and their afterlives in humanitarian and ethnographic fieldwork
Professor Liisa Malkki (Stanford University)

Time and date: 5pm, 11 June 2014
Location: Seminar Room 3, Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB
Registration: The lecture is free to attend and open to all but registration is required. To register via the online form, please visit: www.rsc.ox.ac.uk/colson2014

A nurse who worked for the Red Cross in the 1994 Rwanda genocide said, ‘It’s shocking. You know what’s happening there, but you can’t do anything. In other words, you hear the sounds of killing from behind the hill. And in the morning you go and see if anyone’s alive. […] You end up in these situations.’

The Red Cross medical and other aid workers Malkki interviewed in Finland often faced what one person called ‘impossible situations’ in their international humanitarian work. Such situations – affectively and ethically impossible, impasses from which there is no obviously good way forward – can also arise in anthropological research and cast long shadows.

Like anthropologists, aid workers are sometimes left feeling ambivalent, inadequate and even impure about the work that they have done, despite their best efforts to fulfil the standards of their profession and personal ethical commitments. These situations are a reminder that the conventional, widely popularised humanitarian position of moral high ground and mastery can actually be a fiction on many levels.


Liisa H. Malkki is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University. Her research interests include: the politics of nationalism, internationalism, cosmopolitanism and human rights discourses as transnational cultural forms; the social production of historical memory and the uses of history; political violence, exile and displacement; the ethics and politics of humanitarian aid; child research; and visual culture.

Her field research in Tanzania explored the ways in which political violence and exile may produce transformations of historical consciousness and national identity among displaced people. This project resulted in Purity and Exile: Violence, Memory, and National Cosmology Among Hutu Refugees in Tanzania (University of Chicago Press, 1995). In another project, Malkki explored how Hutu exiles from Burundi and Rwanda, who found asylum in Montreal, Canada, imagined scenarios of the future for themselves and their countries in the aftermath of genocide in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

Malkki’s most recent book, Improvising Theory: Process and Temporality in Ethnographic Fieldwork (with Allaine Cerwonka) was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2007. Her forthcoming book, The Need to Help: The Domestic Arts of International Humanitarianism (Duke University Press), examines the changing interrelationships among humanitarian interventions, internationalism, professionalism, affect and neutrality in the work of the Finnish Red Cross in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross.