The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), Hong Kong, and the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT), Denmark have together launched a forum named the Asian Alliance Against Torture and Ill-Treatment (AAATI).
The decision to form AAATI was taken in August at a a five-day regional conclave in Hong Kong which was attended by 26 human rights defenders and organizations.
AAATI is a unique regional initiative. It is in fact the first group of its kind in Asia.
Torture in Asia is a problem of the poor. This is not to say that people from affluent classes do not also get tortured. Indeed, there are many of such social backgrounds subjected to torture in almost every country. However, it is still valid to say that torture is a poor person’s problem, because it is the poor that are subjected to torture on such a large scale in almost every less developed country. The reason is that torture and ill-treatment are forms of social control of the poor. Torture and ill-treatment are among the basic strategies used to prevent the poor from coming into common association to fight against the forces that keep them poor. This may be a reason as to why often the more affluent social classes in less developed countries show little interest in dealing with the problem of torture and ill-treatment in their societies.
Here is a video report on the launch of AAATI, filmed and edited by Sofie Rordam