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An international Seminar "African cultures and the fight against torture".

Reasons for holding this seminar

Torture in Africa : a major problem.

All reports by human rights organisations point to the same thing : torture is still a major problem in African society. Few African countries are free of this practice, employed by governments to counter all dissent, and by individual groups to impose their ideas or authority on others, to demand observance of a regime, to impose a reign of terror among entire populations...

Obstacles to overcome.

Many groups, including the ACATs, are actively combating this scourge, but come up against strong resistance to their work (precarious and dangerous conditions, political pressure, popular fear of the authorities, fear of being reported, a tendency towards radicalisation, indifference...). Some populations, some groups, some individuals do not accept or do not understand the abolitionist message for cultural or even spiritual reasons. For our action against torture to become more effective, we need to gain a better understanding of this resistance to our campaign, whether working on the ground in Africa or abroad in solidarity with African groups.

Positive aspects to be valued.

The various cultures in Africa also teach us a lot about human dignity, respect for others, community spirit. They have their own contribution to make to the struggle against torture and inhuman treatment. It is in our interest to learn more about these positive aspects and highlight them.

New action plans.

That is why FIACAT has decided to focus this new international seminar on the current situation in Africa. With the help of the African ACAT groups, FIACAT wanted the Dakar seminar to provide an opportunity for discussion on the cultural roots of torture, but also on those elements in African cultures which could help put a stop to this practice and which should be promoted.

The seminar also studied other important factors in the struggle against torture in Africa, in particular the responsibilities of non-African countries in this process. The discussion aimed to define priorities and to work out new plans of action for a more effective contribution to the eradication of torture on this continent.

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FIACAT - 27, rue de Maubeuge - 75009 Paris — France - Tél.: +33 (0)1 42 80 01 60 - Réalisation site : Epistrophe