ABOU GHRAIB PRISON | IRAQ
10 years of involvement with the topics of prison, torture, survival
The MENA Prison Forum (MPF), initiated by Lebanese organization UMAM Documentation & Research (UMAM D&R), reflects the organization's long-term involvement with projects focused on topics such as enforced disappearance, prison, detention, torture, survival and trauma.
UMAM D&R was officially recognized by the Lebanese Ministry of Interior and Municipalities as a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in 2005. Its founders shared both the hope that Lebanon could one day achieve genuine and lasting sociopolitical stability, and the assumption that realizing such change would remain elusive as long as Lebanon maintains its culture of denial and its citizens continue to ignore their attendant responsibility. Ultimately, the organization recognized that a fundamental effort prefacing any genuine recognition of that responsibility had to center on revisiting the many diverse factors related to Lebanon’s cyclical violence, the underlying sources of that violence and the reason the country has been unable to move forward.
While UMAM D&R has always dealt with the Lebanese aspect of conflict, memory, human rights and transitional justice, its efforts have gradually expanded to encompass the MENA region. The waves of change that began to affect the region in 2010/2011 provided UMAM D&R with an even broader rationale for those regional interests.
Today, UMAM D&R has a wide network of local, regional and international partners. Over time, exchanges and collaboration on a variety of projects confirmed for UMAM D&R that founding the MPF would be instrumental for the region.