Paris, Geneva, 26 June 2013 – International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
« Every day, women, men and children are tortured or ill-treated with the intention of destroying their sense of dignity and human worth. In some cases, this is part of a deliberate state policy of instilling fear and intimidating its population.» (Mr Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, 26 June 2012).
153 States have now ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which was adopted on 10 December 1984 and came into force on 26 June 1987. However, in many of these countries acts of torture or ill-treatment are still all too common.
For this reason, FIACAT - the International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture – strongly urges all States, whether or not they have ratified the Convention, to :
prevent torture by ensuring respect for all human rights, by training government agents, by cooperating with international and regional institutions and by making their populations aware of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment or treatment;
condemn any act of torture by criminalising it in their legislation, by systematically prosecuting those responsible for acts of torture and by fighting against impunity;
meet the needs of victims of torture and ill-treatment by offering them protection and by putting into place mechanisms for reparation and compensation.
It is for these victims that FIACAT works every day together with its network of ACATs to fight for the abolition of torture and against those who routinely flout human dignity. The ACATs are active in places of detention to support these forgotten victims and FIACAT is developing projects with some of them to improve conditions of detention in Africa.
To support the victims of torture, the FIACAT network was actively involved in the Night Vigil on 22 to 23 June (http://nuitdesveilleurs.com). This international day of support for the victims of torture provides an opportunity for everyone to pray for those victims and to make as many people as possible aware of our desire for a world free of torture.
There is one year to go to the thirtieth anniversary of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. FIACAT urges Christian churches throughout the world unanimously to reject any word or deed which legitimises the use of torture.