To honor all of the victims that in the past and currently suffer from acts of torture around the world, the Human Rights Institute for Peace and Freedom communicates the importance of addressing this grave violation to Human Rights. 

Under the Sakharov program of the HRI, the situation and context of each one of the activists that has been granted such award, is monitored, promoted and litigated. The importance of the award and relevance with this day (June 26th) is the consequence implied to many of the activists who advocate for freedom, peace, democracy and rule of law around the world; such consequence is torture. 

Countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela are an example of the disastrous repercussions authoritarian regimes have against freedom around the world. The cases of Nasrin Sotoude in Iran and Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia (both awarded with the Sakharov Prize) are the direct response of authoritarian regimes to any form of peaceful activism in the pursuit to implement human rights in their respective countries. 

In 2019, Sotoudeh was condemned to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes after dedicating her life to the peaceful defense of women rights in her country. Badawi, was condemned in 2014 to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. He was arrested for exercising his right of freedom of expression. Both are prisoners of conscience and in both cases, there is a systematic pattern of torture and abuse of power by part of the regimes. Even though, each one serves a different branch of Islam, the religious fundamentalism is integrated into absolutist regimes. The grave consequence is seen in the eradication of human rights in each country. 

In the case of Venezuela, Maduro´s regime has tortured thousands of opposition activists and victims of systematic oppression. The opposition in Venezuela, represented by the National Assembly and political figures, was granted the Sakharov price in the year 2017. Victims of arbitrary arrest and torture such as Leopoldo Lopez, Juan Requesens, Daniel Ceballos, Yon Goicoechea, Andrea González and many other activists, were condemned to these grave acts and violations of human rights, within their pursuit of democracy and freedom for their country. 

The HRI for Peace and Freedom condemns the practice of torture in every part of the world and will litigate, promote and monitor acts of activism in the pursuit of peace, freedom, democracy and rule of law. 

“For me, liberalism simply means, live and let live. This is a splendid slogan.” Raif Badaw