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.
â€œThis 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,â€ said Ann Marie Winter, Administrator of Refugee Services. â€œWe pay tribute to their strength and courage. And with our collective voice, we stand together against torture.â€œ
The organization offers support for 500 torture victims in Florida.
â€œThese victims come from 41 different countries. Our primary population comes from Cuba and Haiti,â€ she said.
Workers and volunteers at the organization say they want to raise awareness about torture.
â€œ81 countries, according to Amnesty Internationalâ€™s Report of 2007, practice torture systematically, each and every single year,â€ said Winter. â€œThere are millions of people suffering this cruel fate.â€
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.