In 2016, people from 76 countries around the world sought our help to overcome torture. We supported more than 1,000 people and provided over 17,200 psychological therapy interventions.
People face torture in many countries. Some are targeted for criticising the authorities or because they take part in peaceful political activities, such as protesting or leafletting, or even because a friend or relative had done so. Other individuals are targeted because of aspects of their identity, like their sexuality. Wherever and whenever torture happens, it intends to intimidate, silence and break people.
Torture is illegal under international law and various studies have demonstrated it to be an ineffective interrogation technique, including studies by the United States Senate into the CIA’s “Enhanced interrogation” methods.
At Freedom from Torture, we support people who seek refuge in the UK having fled torture inflicted upon them by their own governments, or by dissident political groups acting as the state and in control of large areas of a country, such as Boko Haram in Nigeria or Daesh in the Middle East.
Below are the top ten countries for new referrals in 2016 - they represent just some of the many countries around the world where torture is happening.