What happened when torture survivors met the students

This is an advocacy project in partnership with the Torture Abolition and Survivor Support Coalition (TASSC), an organization founded by and for torture survivors. Students interact directly with survivors, mainly from Africa, who have been tortured and imprisoned by their own governments. Project participants team-up with survivors to visit congressional offices where they support legislation that benefits survivors in the U.S. and abroad, and advocate for an end to torture worldwide. One of its recent actions: more than 20 torture survivors teamed up with 32 college students to visit Capitol Hill, speaking out against torture and telling Congress to support more humane immigration policies. The students were participating in a Torture Abolition Civic Engagement Project led by TASSC International. Student-survivor teams visited 13 congressional offices on both the House and Senate sides.

They asked Members of Congress to support a section of the Senate Immigration bill that would provide alternatives to detention for immigrants. Thousands of immigrants, who have not committed any crime, including many torture survivors, are detained in jail-like facilities throughout the United States. Delegations also discussed human rights abuses committed by the Ethiopian government. Ian Molitor from the University of Montana said that Non-violent/non-criminal detainees should be released into communities where they can receive support and begin to heal from the traumas they have suffered. An increasing number of faith-based and human rights groups are assisting recently released detainees, including torture survivors.

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