06 Feb 2018
Call to action for research in the field

In the latest issue of the Torture Journal, voices from around the world unite in a call for an increase in more targeted research.

Call to action for research in the field

Each of these voices – specialists from Zimbabwe, U.S.A., Turkey, Peru, Palestine, Russia, Denmark reflect on the content of the article Rehabilitation of torture survivors and torture prevention: Research priorities through a Delphi Study. This study, undertaken by the Torture Journal, involved three rounds of consultation of worldwide experts to reach a consensus on publishing and research priorities for the anti-torture movement. It is hoped that the findings may be a useful starting point for a global research agenda. 

In Impact of Narrative Exposure Therapy on torture survivors in the MENA region, Ane Kirstine Viller Hansen, Nete Sloth Hansen-Nord, Issam Smeir, Lianne Engelkes-Heby and Jens Modvig share their findings based on working with a range of contributors from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan and Syria. They conclude that Narrative Exposure Therapy was associated with a reduction in symptoms of PTSD, anxiety and depression and that delaying trauma treatment until refugees are settled safely is too late. 

In Tortured Logic: Information and Brutality in Interrogations, Professor John W. Schiemann innovatively and persuasively employs a mathematical model using game theory to argue that torture simply does not work. Such a claim warrants further debate and further discussion is helpfully provided by eminent commentators, Laurence and Emily Alison, Glenn Carle and Hans Draminsky Petersen. 

Statements in this issue include, importantly, the World Psychiatry Association Declaration on Participation of Psychiatrists in Interrogation Procedures, along with supportive accounts from two prominent psychiatrists.

Other contributions include a perspective on the stringent Australian Border Force Act, news from hunger strikers at Guantanamo Bay, and a letter to the editor concerning Kashmir. 


For more information

Launched in 1991, Torture Journal is an interdisciplinary scientific journal on rehabilitation of torture victims and prevention of torture.  The full contents of the new issue are available free-of-charge at https://irct.org/publications/torture-journal/128. 

“For the first time highly relevant research priorities [have been pinpointed] within the scientific and practical work against torture. These research priorities could form the backbone of an internationally agreed research agenda.” 

Dr Jens Modvig, Chair, UN Committee Against Torture

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