”I was desperate for help. [They] gave me my life back. They made me feel like my life was worth something.NajibaTorture Survivor
“They are angels to us”: ACTV in Uganda
The African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (ACTV) in Uganda is small, but their impact is huge. They care for survivors from across the region, providing not only health-based rehabilitation but also restorative justice.
“They showed me that I was human and still mattered.” Watch this video to see how ACTV, in the face of many challenges, continues to find ways to holistically support survivors to rebuild shattered lives.
For Gabriel, a high school essay led to a long imprisonment and severe torture. With the help of the African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims in Uganda, Gabriel was able to rebuild the life that was stolen from him.
Gabriel was referred to the African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (ACTV). Following an evaluation of Gabriel’s symptoms, ACTV created a rehabilitation programme specific to his needs. He received urgent medical care for his physical injuries, including multiple operations to his limbs and mouth. Gabriel also received intensive psychological counselling and support for legal action in seeking compensation for the torture he endured. The rehabilitation services provided by ACTV have allowed Gabriel to make significant physical and psychological improvements. Gabriel claims the support he received from the centre allowed him to feel less stigmatised. He is currently volunteering at a local organisation in his area.
Accused of a crime he didn’t commit, tortured for a confession and imprisoned for 4 years, Sillah emerged from jail a broken man. But with the support of the Independent Medico-Legal Unit in Kenya, Sillah has ‘a second chance at life’.
Sillah was taken to a remote area and brutally tortured. He faced serious physical injuries to his genitals, face and limbs, as well as psychological trauma. Sillah remained incarcerated with minimal access to medical attention for over four years before his acquittal. Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU), an IRCT member centre in Kenya, assessed Sillah following his release and identified urgent psychological and physical rehabilitation needs. Sillah received treatment for PTSD, anxiety and other psychological issues. IMLU also provided medical attention for the physical injuries he sustained and supported his pursuit of legal action to seek compensation for the violation of his rights.
IMLU’s rehabilitation programme has allowed for Sillah to experience significant improvements to his physical and psychological well-being. From his ability to walk to the restoration of his memory, to his return to work, Sillah claims that IMLU’s support gave him a second chance at life.
This story was shared by the Independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU) in Kenya.
Salah Ahmad With Kids in Chamchamal
A successful program in Iraq
Salah Ahmad founded the Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights as a way to help tortured and abused women. Starting with just a handful of women, 10 years later they have supported more than 20,000.