Skip to content or view screen version

Voices of Torture in London

parts | 08.12.2006 11:30 | Anti-racism | Culture | Free Spaces | Repression | Social Struggles | London | World

Last night at the regular rampART social centre cinema night a disapointingly small audience was treated to a series of film being presented under the theme 'alternative black history month'.

Along with the films was a illuminating discussion about deportation, torture and the awful human rights abuse in Eritrea. Coincidently we also learned of a demonstration called for today outside the Eritrean embassy to commemorate The International Human Rights Day.

"We call on all peace loving and law abiding Eritreans and friends of Eritrea, who wish to see justice and democracy in Eritrea to come and participate in this Demonstration.", said the joint call out from Release Eritrea, EHDR(UK) and CSW.

Friday 8th December 2006 From 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm
Outside Eritrean Embassy, 96 White Lion Street; Islington; London N1 9PF (Nearest tube Angel, Northern Line)

(Coverage of last years demo

The screening at the rampART started with 'No Justice', a short piece covering the 2006 United Family And Friends Campaign demonstration gainst deaths in custody.

The theme of injustice continued to the end with 'Camp de Thieroye' a semi-biographical film by Ousmane Sembène, the 'father of African Film'. It tells the story of west-african soldiers who fought as front line canon fodder for their French colonial masters in WWII. After the war, when the soldiers are to be repatriated, they end up imprisoned in a camp and ultimately murdered on mass to save the cost of paying them!

Also shown was the film 'Eritrea - voice of torture' was short interview-based documentary about Eritreans, who had fled to Malta to escape political repressions and apply for asylum in the UK. All of them, over 200 people, were deported back to Eritrea and tortured and killed on their return. Some excaped to tell their story now and what a story it is. The film makers were at the rampART to answer questions and told about their long campaign to prevent Eritreans refugees around the world from being deported back to torture.

It was a real shame there were so few people at the screening (understandable perhaps considering how cold and wet it was out). It would have been great to connect people involved in anti-deportation and no borders campaigns with the struggles of the Eritreans. We were told how the case outlined in the filmed had been followed up and Malta prevented from repeating the outrage of sending people back to certain torture and how continued campaigning is saving people around the world, often in the 11th hour as they are about to be forced onto planes.

Several thousand prisoners of conscience are detained without charge or trial in Eritrea and there are wide-ranging human rights abuses carried out by the Eritrean regime, including the pervasive use of torture and extra-judicial killings in the country's many detention centres.

Torture has routinely been used as a punishment for critics of the government and members of minority faiths, as well as for offences committed by military conscripts. Arbitrary incommunicado detention 'without charge or trial' is widespread and long-lasting - several prisoners of conscience have been held thus for over a decade - with many detainees are held in secret and their whereabouts not known.


View/Download the video here:

More info from:

Background info:

Main stream coverage: