Interview with a mock victim of torture

Interviewing victims and particularly victims of torture needs experience, calm and professionalism. For being the interviewer is very clear I present myself to my victim- a twenty-three year old, Rudi Shamar who stayed in detention 57 days , first 23 days in the A wing of the Prison and 24 in the wing B of the same prison. For the interview he was very stressed and he entered and stood on the shadow corner of the room. I welcomed him in a very familiar , calm and quiet approach. It was obvious for me that Rudi is a traumatized people an hesitant , shy and quiet victim, and I also had the papers from the day of his release, most of the victims do not receive those documents. I have started by asking general questions to help us to pursue our interview and I have provided the support, the assistance and all the information I had to make him feel comfortable, and then I allowed Rudi to speak without interruption. In that time, sweating and with small eyes he explained: “ When I arrived at the B- prison, they welcomed me by beating me 12 times with cables. Others were hit more. I was in the A- wing of the same prison for two days. They summoned me to interrogation. The other detainees said that I would not be hit if I stuck with the confession. I was hit five times with cables during that interrogation. During the next interrogation they told me that the crime was very serious and that they would send me to the General . They hit me 15 time and I passed out …”. I tried to create a surrounding , a proper setting for the victim, no pressure physical or mental exerted on him. I have asked him what is the first thing that he is remembering as painful to him, and I tried to eliminate all physical barriers that might inhibit communication , also I tried to approach him and stay on the carpet, next where he was sitting. Rudi told me the worst and painful thing he still remember often is the screaming of the people from the interrogation room and more than all the room from underground. I had explained to him that now he is protected and any person will ever biases and prejudices him again on this. I showed him I ‘m not judgmental in my approach to information. I also explained to him the unacceptable behavior, and the effects it is having in order to identify and punish of those responsible, and how to react, to behave and to recover about such an experience. I explained him that we have the means and powers to gather information needed to discover the truth and the facts. We even started to discuss and watch similar cases that people already are reintegrated in a sort of normal life. We agree the purpose is his rehabilitation, including medical and psychological care , and this is the key form of reparation for survivors of torture. In the final I asked Rudi if he wish to add or clarify anything. The interview took no longer than one hour.