Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism
Terrorism is a global plight. It is a destructive threat against national and international order and security. Nowadays the world suffers from terrorist groups and terrorist attacks more than ever before. Terrorist organizations resort to violent acts without even considering the safety of civilians; they apply various ways for committing crimes. This threat involves the violence of armed terrorist groups against innocent civilians as well.
The victims of such groups are guiltless people who are assassinated, being kidnapped or taken as hostage. In this context, all the people of a community could be regarded as victims. The people, who are inflicted by a terrorist attack, lose their lives, their security and peace. Therefore, countering terrorism requires a global solidarity. Human rights and the very value of the human life should have priority over any political, doctrinal, ethnic and religious considerations. International unified solidarity for suppressing terrorism can be achieved through such an approach.
Looking at terrorism from the viewpoint of families of terrorism victims can provide a humanitarian criterion for evaluating the crimes of terrorists. Having such criteria in the fight against terrorism, on one hand we would not limit ourselves to the definitions of ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ terrorism and on the other hand, based on our common suffering, we would try to come to a global consensus for countering terrorism.
Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism (ADVT) is a non-governmental, cultural institution, whose members are the families and children of victims of terrorism. In this Association, the families who have lost their dearest ones in a terrorist attack have gathered. Terrorism has changed their social and individual life as well as their psychological characteristics. These victims have lost their emotional supporters; this is very critical regarding with children who lose their parents in the early years of their lives. Despite passing of the time, the physical and mental impacts of this tragic event would remain during the lives of the victims. Terrorist attacks leave short-term or long-term effects on the family of the victims too.
Therefore, Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism, facing these problems, has defined some objectives for itself and makes its best efforts to solve the families’ problems. ADVT also intends to apply cultural, informative and expressive ways, on behalf of the families of terror victims, to encounter with terrorist organization.
Demands and Concerns of the Families of Terrorism Victims
Questions and apprehensions of the families of terrorism victims have resulted from their internal approach towards the phenomenon of terror and terrorism. Such questions include:
§ How can we prevent the pervasiveness of terrorism in the communities?
§ How the number of terrorism victims in the world can be minimized?
§ How can the terrorist recruitment be reduced to the minimum degree?
§ What is the best way to lead the governments and international organizations towards fighting against terrorism?
§ How can we create an atmosphere in which terrorism victims feel that the community respects them?
§ And finally how the slogan of “A world without Terrorism” could be actualized?
Objectives of the Association:
The Association tries to establish a close and intimate connection between victims of terrorist acts and the global community. For this purpose, the following objectives are followed:
· Recognizing and respecting the dignity and status of the terrorism victims through providing the opportunity for meeting terror victims of other countries and sharing common sympathies and experiences;
· Helping terrorism victims to express their demands and opinions before the society, public authorities and institutions as well as media;
· Raising awareness of terrorist threats and dangers in the society and making attempts to prevent their reoccurrence through finding their origins and countering them;
· Expanding national and international networks in order to make connections with other associations of terrorism victims;
· Raising public awareness of this inhuman phenomenon through the voices of terrorism victims;
· designing a strategy to urge the governments and international organizations for cooperation in countering terrorist groups
Activities of the Association regarding with Terrorism Victims:
In this association, specialists work under specific medical, legal and psychological support committees and present their services to the terrorism victims. Association staffs have also made an intimate relationship with families of victims in order to support them. Regular meetings with families are being held in order to get familiar with their problems and trying to solve them. A number of other services provided for families include:
· medical services and clinical consultation;
· legal counseling for protecting the rights of victims through hiring lawyers and jurists;
· trying to create an international solidarity between terrorism victims, associations, political leaders, experts and journalists;
· holding gatherings and conferences of terrorism victims
Association’s Attitude towards Countering Terrorist Groups:
– Collecting and analyzing the information related to the issue of terrorism; ADVT is considered as a national and international source for compiling and publishing documents about terrorism victims;
– Signing Letters of Agreement with other associations of terrorism victims, aiming to help victims and allying for a world without terrorism;
– Increasing public awareness about the effects and outcomes of terrorism with direct reference to the terrorism victims; the association also intends to evaluate the ominous and inhuman phenomenon of terrorism far from classifications of ‘Good’ or ‘Evil’ and merely through focusing on its destructive impacts and outcomes. Such evaluation would be beyond political biases, religious opinions or geographical limitations.
Today we as the victims of terrorism have allied and made this Association a place in which victims can present their ideas and suggestions for fighting against terrorism in an international level. ADVT has conducted some measures in this regard including:
· Holding more than 250 meetings with real and legal figures from different countries across the world and also with officials from international organizations and institutions;
· Meeting more than 65 European journalists and representatives of human rights NGOs;
· Sending letters to the officials, politicians, speakers and parliamentarians of various countries;
· Attending in 2 human rights conferences: Durban Review Conference in Geneva and Human Rights Council;
· Producing 20 TV programs with the cooperation of Press TV, Sahar channel and Channel 1;
· Producing a documentary about the terrorist cult of Mojahedin-e Khalq with the cooperation of RAI 1 (Italian National channel);
· Holding a number of conferences with the attendance of families of terrorism victims;
· Corresponding with more than 290 human rights NGOs holding UN Consultative status;
· Corresponding with domestic officials;
· Attending in Press Fair and holding an specialized conference on the issue of Media and Terrorism;
· Publishing 7 volumes of Terror Victims Periodical;
· Compiling, publishing and distributing the booklet of “ Facts about a terrorist group revealed by victims”;
· Holding sessions with an Iraqi documentary maker, officials of the International Committee of Red Cross, representatives from various media (ABC Channel, American legal advisor, Associated Press, German journalists from Spiegel, Frankfurter Zeitung, Norwegian delegation, British delegation, Bulgarian parliamentary committee chairman, French lawyers, Parliamentary delegations from Italy, Spain and UK,…);
· Attending in the International Conference of “Global Alliance against Terrorism for a Just Peace” and international Conference on “Peace, Women and Divine Religions”;
· Publishing several volumes of the Encyclopedia of Iranian Victims of Terrorism.
In conclusion, we, the families of terrorism victims demand for a world without terror and terrorism for our children. This is not going to be achieved unless by the cooperation of national and international organizations, governments, anti-terrorism associations and human rights institutions.