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United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

Friday, June 26, 2020
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Event Type:
Ilona Gazarova
Location Details:
Advocacy for Humankind is Hosting an Event for United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

Advocacy for Humankind is an organization that seeks to eradicate crimes of coordinated stalking through public awareness, education and advocacy for victims. Please see more about our organization at the end of this press release.

We are gathering outside the Ferry Building on June 26th at 11 AM, and then we will line up along the Embarcadero in support of all victims and survivors of torture. We encourage members of the news media to attend. Protest organizers and attendees will be available for comments or questions. We have also sent out invitations to San Francisco/Bay Area human rights organizations to join us for this event.

In March of 2020, Nils Melzer, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, published a report on psychological torture.

Melzer’s report defines psychological torture as including “all methods and circumstances that purposefully inflict, or intend to inflict, severe mental pain and suffering”. Methods cited in the report include the purposeful infliction of fear, depriving someone of control over their lives and disrupting a victim’s self-determination and autonomy; also procedures that directly target psychological needs such as security, self-determination, dignity, privacy (through constant audio-visual surveillance), social rapport and communal trust.

The report also states that “Sensory hyper-stimulation below the threshold of physical pain, such as constant bright light, loud music, bad odors, uncomfortable temperatures or intrusive “white” noise, induces progressively severe mental stress and anxiety, inability to think clearly, followed by increasing irritability, outbursts of anger and, ultimately, total exhaustion and despair.”

Victims of coordinated stalking routinely report that many of the methods listed in the report are being used routinely to oppress them and strip away their fundamental human rights through intimidation, harassment, surveillance, and more. All of these add up to what Melzer defines as a “torturous environment."

An alarming development that Melzer points to is “cybertorture."
States, corporate actors and organized criminals, he says, “not only have the capacity to conduct cyber-operations inflicting severe suffering on countless individuals, but may well decide to do so for any of the purposes of torture while avoiding the conduit of the physical body."

More About Advocacy for Humankind:

Advocacy for Humankind seeks to bring about public awareness on a national level and to both educate and partner with entities who can help solve the layered problems that coordinated stalking presents. We are currently working with a number of state and government agencies as well as politicians to bring about new legislation in order to encourage investigation and prosecution.

Though the tactics used in coordinated stalking are illegal, they are hard to prove and even harder to prosecute. Currently there is no recourse for victims and perpetrators operate above the law.

We also advocate for victims and attempt to provide the support they need to navigate the murky waters of a crime that is virtually undetectable to those not undergoing it. We work closely with The Bay Area Support Group, which assists victims of coordinated stalking and has over 103 members.

Advocacy for Humankind envisions a world free from these insidious crimes, where all global citizens are free to exercise their fundamental human rights.

For more information about Advocacy For Humankind and the crimes of coordinated stalking, please visit
Added to the calendar on Wed, Jun 17, 2020 11:55PM
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