Torture Journal: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of TortureVol. 31 No. 2 (2021)
We present in this Issue 2021/2 the first 6 contributions of the special section on enforced disappearance as torture, while the remaining 4 will appear in Issue 2021/3. We thank the Guest Editors, Bernard Duhaime and Mariana Castilla, for their valuable contribution to the special section on enforced disappearances.
Manon Bourguignon at al. text analyses how grief is experienced by victims of such crimes who are endlessly confronted with uncertainty and exacerbated impunity. She makes a comparative analysis of the different conceptualisations used to describe the grief of relatives and proposes key elements that are common to all of them.
Nicolas Morales addresses the impact of inadequate investigations and reparation measures regarding enforced disappearances, which occurred in the region of Paine, in Chile, during the Pinochet dictatorship. He stresses the importance of first-person experiences of the relatives of the disappeared which make it possible to account for the subjective and collective dimension of forensic identification. He also discusses the importance of better understanding the intergenerational impacts of such crimes.
The concept of victimhood is analysed by Mina Rauschenbach et al. in their study dealing with the recognition of victims’ status in El Salvador and in Colombia, two countries in which enforced disappearances have occurred on a massive scale during internal armed conflicts. She considers how such status is legally defined in both countries and how it impacts their experiences in the judicial system.
Alejandra Vicente and Eva Nudd examine the importance of the phenomenon of disappearances in Africa, a region where this crime is underreported. The authors also describe the current discussions held by the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights on the topic, in particular the evolution of draft guidelines on enforced disappearances in Africa currently being developed by the Commission’s Working Group on Death Penalty, Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings and Enforced Disappearance.
Aïcha Madi presents a case study of enforced disappearances in Algeria showing that the impact crosses more than one generation and remains as a hidden wound in society that needs to be addressed by all political actors.
Inamul Haq’s contribution discusses how enforced disappearances have impacted women in Kashmir, more specifically how the latter have been marginalised as “half widows”, lacking adequate rehabilitation measures to address the emotional and psychological trauma that they face on a daily basis.
This issue also includes three regular scientific papers not part of the special section. Ebbe Munk-Andersen et al. present the positive results of a structured questionnaire used for screening asylum-seekers in Denmark, Dongmi Kim et al. review the efficacy of pharmacotherapy for major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder from torture, showing the lack of strong evidence for any the treatments proposed. Karen Fondacaro et al. published in 2018 in Torture Journal a paper explaining the Chronic Traumatic Stress Framework as a conceptual model to guide empirical investigation and mental health treatment for refugees and survivors of torture. In this issue, they complement that paper with a second paper on Chronic Traumatic Stress Treatment.
Moreover, it is with great pleasure that we welcome a Forensic Case Series, a new section of the Torture Journal edited by Ben McVane and James Lin. Cases in this section may describe unique or uncommon physical and psychological findings, illustrate barriers to a thorough evaluation, or present features that make effective articulation of a survivor’s claim challenging. Case discussions aim to provide further information about findings or reflections on how challenges were approached. They also aim to address common misconceptions about the clinical evaluation and the experience of torture.
All together, this makes 160 pages, the longest issue in the history of the Journal. You, the readers and authors, are responsible for the increasing growth of Torture Journal: a home for all.
Torture: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of TortureVol. 31 No. 1 (2021)
Pau Pérez-Sales introduces this issue with an Editorial which conceptualises and documents threats in the context of ill-treatment and torture. He provides a theoretical reflection on what threats are, what types exist and how they impact the survivor from a medical and psychological perspective, providing a framework of understanding that will hopefully improve conceptual and practical assessment, documentation and qualification.
Ergün Cakal continues with a discussion on the characterisation of threats as psychological torture in international law. His paper suggests that an assessment of the perception of practice and proximity of state authorities to harm could help qualify such threats as torturous.
This issue continues with the contribution from Nicholas Nelson et al. who present a cross-sectional study on patterns of torture among forcibly displaced Eritrean men in the US. This is the first study of its kind and provides valuable data on prevalent methods, and clinical impacts in a sample of 59 survivors assessed using the Istanbul Protocol.
Following the call for contributions from the Journal, Juliet Cohen et al. present preliminary data on remote medico-legal assessment by telephone during Covid-19, showing that it can be safely used with some special considerations assessed in the paper. We are now expecting results from the comparison with the video assessment.
Vipin Vijay et al. present a qualitative study on the experiences of survivors of commercial sexual exploitation at RP homes in India with an analysis of the elements that facilitate the rehabilitation according to the vice of survivors.
The paper by Frank Hofmann et al. describes the implementation of a pilot project on the use of EMDR in children in post-conflict settings conducted in Northern Iraq.
The IRCT conducted an open discussion on Survivor Engagement in the work of Rehabilitation Centers for torture survivors. Berta Soley has summarised the conclusions and included an interview with Lynne Walker that shares how the Tree of Life Trust has incorporated this perspective for more than ten years.
This issue also includes the Letter to the Editor by Jesús Antona which exposes the proneness of Chilean democracy, exposing the Catrillanca case and the Temucuicui community arrest.
In recent months, during a year when organisations that provide services for survivors of torture faced new challenges during the global COVID-19 pandemic, some of the people who have been leading the anti-torture movement for years have passed. We have paid tribute to Javier Enriquez Sam (1960-2021), Gerald “Jerry” Gray (1935-2020), Sister Jean Abbott (1943-2021), Jose María “Chato” Galante (1948-2020), Gianfranco De Maio (1963-2020) and Sister Dianna Ortiz (1958-2021). Many more people have left us in these months, but let the testimony of Javier, Jerry, Jean, Chato, Gianfranco and Dianna serve as a tribute. They have left behind them a light that we will try to follow.
Finally, this issue also includes the forthcoming call for papers for the special section on racism, ethnocentrism and torture by police and security services.
Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of TortureVol. 30 No. 3 (2020)
This issue of Torture Journal initiates with an Editorial by Pau Pérez-Sales, Editor-in-Chief, which examines the state of the art of deprivation and manipulation of food as a torture method.
This edition includes the second part of the Special Section on Physiotherapy in work with torture survivors.
Laura Pizer Gueron and MaryAnn de Ruiter present the results of a survey conducted among professionals worldwide regarding the availability and use of physiotherapy services with torture survivors. The same team presents the development and detailed explanation of, and initial assessment data from the Group Physiotherapy Model with torture survivors that has been developed by the Center for Victims of Torture. Anne-Mette Karrer et al. present an evaluation of the cultural acceptability and feasibility of a School Pain Treatment programme for populations affected by trauma in Arab countries. Finally Marie Nordheim Alme et al. describe the PREP programme; international experience of collaboration in training processes for physiotherapists working with torture victims.
This number also comprises regular articles in which Marta Guarch-Rubio et al. present worrying data on the prevalence of situations of ill-treatment or torture of asylum seekers arriving to Serbia. Moa Nyamwathi Lønning et al. present a nation-wide study on public rehabilitation systems for torture victims in Norway, and Maria-Angeliki Psyrraki et al. present a study carried out in Athens on the concept of rehabilitation and the importance of mutual support networks in the Congolese refugee population.
The issue concludes with a book review, and a letter to the editor.
Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of TortureVol. 30 No. 2 (2020)
In this issue, the Editorial reviews the effects of COVID-19 on torture survivors and their communities.
This issue also includes Part I of a Special Section on Physiotherapy as Torture. Under the Special Section:
Iselin Dibaj, Joar Halvorsen, Leif Ottesen Kennair and Håkon Stenmark contribute a narrative review on challenges in trauma-focused therapy for torture survivors with PTSD and chronic pain, showing that there is still not enough support for the widely accepted assumption that addressing trauma can improve chronic pain. April Gamble, Salah Hassan Rahim, Ahmed M. Amin Ahmed and Jeff Hartman present the results of a pilot study on the Effects of a Combined Psychotherapy and Physiotherapy Group Treatment Program for Survivors of Torture with very preliminary, although promising results. Tanju Bahrilli and Hamiyet Yüce present a study on Basic Body Awareness Therapy in hunger strike victims with Wernicke Korsakoff Syndrome, showing improvement in different quality of life indicators in survivors that had been severely handicapped for years.
Additionally, Paula Suárez-López presents a review on the potential of epigenetic methods to provide evidence of torture. Genetic markers, now still at an early stage of development, show enormous potential to detect long-term and trans-generational impacts of chronic trauma in general.
Marie Brasholt, Brenda van den Bergh, Erinda Bllaca, Alba Mejía, Marie My Warborg Larsen, Anne Katrine Graudal Levinsen, and Jens Modvig present results on a study conducted in Albania and Honduras on the risk of sanctions following visits by monitoring bodies to detention centers, that shows that this is a relevant and neglected area in the prevention of torture. The results are alarming and show that a very significant percentage of people interviewed suffer some kind of harassment or reprisal following the visits.
This issue includes a Debate in which, Sara López poses the complex question: What are the ethical dilemmas and proposed criteria when a (potential) perpetrator asks for forensic documentation of their own alleged torture. The author proposes three criteria that can be applied by forensic experts and organizations. Four expert authors, Juliet Cohen, Elizabeth Lira, Henry Shue and Onder Ozkalipci, provide insights on the proposal with a final wrap-up and answer from the author.
Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of TortureVol. 30 No. 1 (2020)
Scientific contributions in this issue include presentation of a Complex Care Approach (CCA) for treatment of torture victims that integrates medical, psychological, psychosocial and existential elements from a holistic perspective, and apply it to an hypothetical paradigmatic case. A short scientific report presents a series of 40 cases of male victims of sexual torture in India with severe urological sequelae in defining the concept of parrilla torture and showing the interplay between medical and psychological sequels.
This issue also includes a short research report that presents data from an early analysis of the safeguards in the medical examination of people detained in Catalonia (Spain) in the framework of civic protests. The analysis serves as a reminder that the ethical principles of the Istanbul Protocol must be respected in all circumstances. Their data evidences a request for more thorough investigation by the Spanish authorities.
Conversion therapies are still common practice in many countries around the world as a recent IRCT report has shown. The Independent Forensic Expert Group (IFEG) has been working over the past two years on an analysis of these practices as a form of ill-treatment or torture. The reader will find a landmark document: the IFEG's latest Statement with the conclusions and recommendations to the international legal and medical communities.
Johan Lansen, one of the great European figures of the 20th century in the work with torture survivors, from his own experience as a Holocaust survivor, passed away in November 2019. Torture Journal reprints, as a posthu- mous tribute, the article that he published in the Journal of Medical Ethics more than 15 years ago with personal reflections on the ethical dilemmas of working with perpetrators.
This issue also presents the challenging path to criminalisation of torture and enforced disappearances in Thailand that has been ongoing for over a decade. The Special Suppression and Prevention and of Torture and Enforced Disappearance Bill, introduced in 2014 remains entangled in the Thai legislative process.
Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of TortureVol. 29 No. 3 (2019)
This issue of the Torture Journal takes its focus on measuring torture rehabilitation processes and results. Scientific contributions on this subject include a measurement of rehabilitation outcomes with an instrument designed at the Marjorie Kovler Center in Chicago; a validation study examining diagnoses of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) in refugee and torture survivor populations; and a study of gender-based violence in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
The issue also comprises an applied perspective on organizational development in torture rehabilitation programs and two letters to the editor addressing involvement of medical personnel in torture in Syria and a response to the concept of psychological torture.
Finally, Secretary-General of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, Lisa Henry, and Chief Executive Officer of STARTTS Centre in Australia, Jorge Aroche, provide an open letter to the Torture Journal readers and a celebratory text of STARTTS' 30th anniversary respectively.
A corrigendum is added to correct the Editorial of Vol. 29 (2).
Torture Journal: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of TortureVol. 29 No. 2 (2019)
This issue of the Torture Journal examines sleep deprivation as a method of torture. The editorial proposes that intentionally forcing a person to have less than 6 hours of continuous, restful sleep must be considered a form of degrading treatment that could amount to cruel and inhuman treatment, and suggests that when daily sleep deprivation is intentionally prolonged in a sustained manner for three days or more, it should be considered as a form of torture in itself.
The issue includes a review of the prohibition of sleep deprivation as torture or ill-treatment in international law and the text of a Protocol for Medico-Legal Documentation of Sleep Deprivation with an accompanying explanatory article covering the development and pilot testing of the Protocol. The section also includes a study carried out in Palestine, documenting the impact of sleep deprivation on a sample of Palestinian detainees.
The issue is further complemented by an epidemiological study on knowledge relating to torture amongst medical professionals in Tanzania and a case report from Australia exemplifying narratives of Tamil survivors of sexual violence. A Debate section that discusses the standing of the Istanbul Protocol through the case of Mr Firas Tbeish is also included. Finally, a book review and letter to the editor close the issue.
Torture Journal: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of TortureVol. 29 No. 1 (2019)
This issue of the Torture Journal reveals new, innovative insights on torture documentation and rehabilitation approaches from leading academics and researchers globally. The focus of the latest issue is on forensic documentation of torture. The issue explores documentation in detail regarding its strengths, limitations and innovative new ideas, such as documentation procedures among specific sub-groups. Fresh research and perspectives on sport-based rehabilitation, as well as other key topics, also comprise the issue.
Torture Journal: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of TortureVol. 28 No. 3 (2018)
This issue of the Torture Journal examines the impact of sexual torture (and other forms of torture) in diverse settings around the world and identifies innovative and culturally appropriate rehabilitation approaches. The issue includes a special section on sexual, gender-based and genderized torture.
Torture Journal: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of TortureVol. 28 No. 2 (2018)
Special section: Forced migration and torture: challenges and solutions in rehabilitation and prevention
Forced migration leads to many challenges for rehabilitating torture victims. Challenges and solutions in the forced migration context are investigated and addressed in the latest informative issue of the Torture Journal.
Torture Journal Vol 27(3)Vol. 27 No. 3 (2017)
Torture: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of TortureVol. 27 No. 1 (2017)
Torture Journal: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of TortureVol. 26 No. 2 (2016)
Long-running themes and previous research are given new life in this issue, Lilla Hárdi's last as Editor in Chief.
Torture Journal: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of TortureVol. 26 No. 1 (2016)
"In such a complex clinical landscape, influenced by a dizzying array of different social, psychological and environmental factors, how can a clinician know what treatment has the best outcome for a particular person or group? And, how can researchers identify areas and methods for research?"
Lilla Hárdi, MD, Editor in Chief
This issue of the Toture Journal grapples with these questions and others.
Torture Journal: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture - SupplementumVol. 24 No. 2 (2014)