Survivors’ Stories

If you or a family member have been tortured, and you need help to obtain justice and reparation, please go to the following page: Help for Survivors.

REDRESS works on the front-line of justice, achieving positive judgments and outcomes that can have a profound and lasting impact on the lives of torture survivors.

Helping torture survivors seek justice is central to REDRESS’ mandate. REDRESS provides wide-ranging legal advice and support to survivors to help them achieve effective remedies.

While these cases are important to the individuals and communities directly concerned, they also serve the additional purpose of advancing the rule of law and the fight against torture worldwide.

Above all else, REDRESS prioritises the wellbeing, interests and perspectives of survivors.

 “I want to see the Libyan Government acknowledge that violations took place and provide redress. This is vital to prevent violations from happening in the future.” – Magdulein Abaida

Libyan human rights defender Magdulein Abaida supported the revolution that led to Muammar Gaddafi’s fall in 2011. After the fall of the Libyan leader, she campaigned for equality in the Libyan Constitution which was in the process of being drafted. Her work made her a target of a militia group, who arrested and subjected her to ill-treatment. Fearing for her life, Magdulein sought asylum in the United Kingdom in 2012. REDRESS has brought her case to the attention of the United Nations.

Read the details of Magdulein Abaida’s case

“My true story is being told” – Necati Zontul

Necati Zontul, a Turkish migrant, was raped by Greek coastguard officials in a homophobic attack in Crete. REDRESS brought his case to the European Court of Human Rights, which ordered Greece to pay Necati €50,000 in compensation in 2012. The judgment reaffirmed that the rape of a detainee by a state official constitutes an especially grave and abhorrent form of ill-treatment amounting to torture in this case.

Read more about Necati Zontul’s case 

“I know the power of justice” – Leopoldo Garcia Lucero

Leopoldo Garcia Lucero, a Chilean citizen, was subjected to enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention, torture and forced exile under the Pinochet regime. He lost most of his teeth, his face was disfigured and his spine severely damaged, causing permanent disability. REDRESS brought his case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. In 2014 Leopoldo received a formal apology and reparations from the Chilean Government in the first case of its kind concerning the situation of exiled torture survivors.

Read more about Leopoldo Garcia Lucero’s case

Azul Rojas Marín

“After all that I have been through, finally a court believes me”

In 2008, Azul Rojas Marín, who at the time identified as a gay man, was detained by Peruvian police while she was walking home. Whilst in unofficial detention, she was insulted for her sexual orientation, stripped, beaten and raped with a police baton.

The case was litigated by REDRESS and their Peruvian partners for 11 years before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a landmark judgement in 2019. Not only did the court find Peru responsible for Azul’s torture, and award her and her late mother reparations for the abuse, it also, significantly, ordered Peru to adopt measures to tackle discrimination and to protect other LGBT+ people from similar violence. It was the first case of discriminatory torture decided by a human rights court world wide, and sets a precedence for future cases of its kind.

Read more about Azul Rojas Marín’s case