Book Book

Unspeakable Truths: Confronting State Terror and Atrocity

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7321.1135/a (Published 10 November 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1135
  1. Derek Summerfield, psychiatrist
  1. South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, London

    Priscilla Hayner


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    Routledge, £16.99, pp 340 ISBN 0 415 92477 4

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    The programme director of the International Centre for Transitional Justice in New York has produced a scholarly yet compellingly written review of the 21 official truth commissions established around the world since 1974 to document state crimes and to address concepts of reparation, reconciliation, and reform.

    Hayner starts with an anecdote. “Do you want to remember, or to forget?” she asked a Rwandan government official who had lost every single member of his family in the 1994 genocide. He replied, “We must remember what happened in order to keep it from …

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