By Elizabeth Stanley

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Additional info for Torture, Truth and Justice: The Case of Timor-Leste

Sample text

Overall, torture tends to be experienced by those groups who are most marginalized within societies and a victim’s status will often impact on whether and how they will face violation. Class From the writings established in ancient Greece and in the Roman Empire it is apparent that torture was governed directly by issues of status and identity. During these periods there was a strong ethos of ‘torturability’ that governed 28 Contextualizing Torture who could and who could not be subject to torture (DuBois 1991: 56).

In their reception and telling, it is hoped that the stories will work against terror, naming violations for what they are, and assist in ending the isolation of injustice (SuárezOrozco 1992). The research process The primary research was conducted, over three fieldwork visits to TimorLeste, from February 2004 to December 2005. Undertaking interviews with 74 individuals, the author also engaged in observations of the serious crimes process and truth commission activities, and had a broad range of informal meetings with victims, transitional justice workers, and other individuals.

Such racist underpinnings have inevitably formed the setting for contemporary forms of torture. It is perhaps of no surprise that indigenous populations, travelling people, and ethnic minority groups are regularly targeted for torture. Such groups are easily identified as ‘different’ and their marginalization within societies means that there is little risk of anyone ‘coming to their defense’ (Birch 2003: 537). However, these racist ideologies have also dovetailed with other notions of identity that operate across geographical, political, and economic boundaries.

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