(TUCSON, Ariz.) – Amnesty International USA will deliver the keynote address at a special event honoring Dr. Naasson Munyandamutsa of Rwanda for his work to aid survivors of torture. The Barbara Chester Award event will be hosted by the Hopi Foundation on Oct. 12 on the Hopi Reservation in northern Arizona.
Michael O'Reilly, Amnesty International USA deputy executive director, who will be delivering the keynote address, 'Breaking the Cycle of Torture and Impunity,' stated:
"The devastating effects of torture can last a lifetime, and it is an honor to be part of this ceremony recognizing Dr. Munyandamutsa's outstanding contributions to heal individuals, families, and communities affected by this egregious human rights abuse," said O'Reilly. "Through the collective work and commitment of institutions and of individuals like Dr. Munyandamutsa, we continue to build global support for survivors of torture and make gains in ending torture around the world."
The Barbara Chester Award is given by the Hopi Foundation to clinicians and practitioners working with survivors of torture. Awardees receive $10,000 cash and a handcrafted silver eagle feather sculpture. Described by Dr. Inge Genefke of Denmark as "the world's first anti-torture" prize, the award is named after Dr. Barbara Chester, a pioneer in the field of torture treatment, who was instrumental in establishing the first torture treatment center in the United States.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million activists in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.