UN Day in Support of Victims of Torture listen06/26/09 Andrea Lypka
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The Florida Center for Survivors of Torture observed UN Day in Support of Victims of Torture in Clearwater.
“This 26th of June, we honor the countless women, men and children who have suffered this terrible crime against humanity - those who paid with their lives as well as those who have survived,” said Ann Marie Winter, Administrator of Refugee Services. “We pay tribute to their strength and courage. And with our collective voice, we stand together against torture.“
The organization offers support for 500 torture victims in Florida.
“These victims come from 41 different countries. Our primary population comes from Cuba and Haiti,” she said.
Workers and volunteers at the organization say they want to raise awareness about torture.
“81 countries, according to Amnesty International’s Report of 2007, practice torture systematically, each and every single year,” said Winter. “There are millions of people suffering this cruel fate.”
The center also honored its volunteers and key partners for their community work, including neurosurgeon Dr Donald Mellman and psychologists Dr. Lori Kleinman and Dr Cecilia Yocum.