By Jahangir Alam Akash, If someone has been tortured by the state, then his or her life has been paralyzed in different ways. After torture, a person is physically, mentally, socially, and financially demoralized. It is very true, as I myself closely experienced with state torture. How can a tortured man or woman recover his or her lost position after torture?
I recently went to Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. The international human rights organizations, the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), organized a conference on “Preventing terrorism within the fight against terrorism: tools for journalists” on Nov. 6, 2009. The organizers gave me an opportunity to join that conference, along with around 30 journalists and human rights defenders from 16 countries participated. The conference was supported by the European Commission.
Sami Al Haj, a cameraman for Al Jazeera TV, showed a report about the human rights violations at Guantanamo and described his history of inhuman torture. He spent six years at the Guantanamo detention center. Really, it was brutal and horrible. Journalist and writer Tara McKelvey from the United States described the human rights violations at the Abu Ghraib prison. It was a nice, fruitful and important conference. Now, I want to share about my history with torture.
How and why was I brutally tortured by Army officers in Bangladesh? I want to draw a picture of the situation of human rights and press freedom in Bangladesh. Please read more: https://jaakash.wordpress.com/2009/11/28/so-called-elite-force-journalism-and-torture/
I and my whole family have been paying a high price for the sake of press freedom and human rights. Not only was I tortured, but after my torture, my family has continued to pay the price for my journalistic activities against Islamic militancy, corruption, extrajudicial killings and minority oppression. Only because of my professional activities, my father-in-law lost his political career, even though he has belonged to the Bangladesh Awami League for the last 42 years.
After my torture, I have been paralyzed socially, economically, mentally and physically. Not only that, I have lost my job, dignity and reputation. How will I recover my dignity, reputation and all my other losses?
Human rights and human dignity are not for certain individuals; they should be universal. It is black and white, but in practice, they are absent. Every person who has been tortured needs permanent rehabilitation. At the same time, every perpetrator needs to be punished as an example.