Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (ACAT) was set up in France in 1974.
Since 1982 it has extended its mandate to include abolition of the death penalty.
Today the International Federation of ACATs, FIACAT, comprises thirty organisations worldwide. Each group tries to heighten the awareness of the Christian community in its country, and public opinion in general, about the death penalty.
It does this by organising debates, setting up discussions in schools, offering a helping hand to those sentenced to death and by requesting pardons for those people from the authorities.
The ACAT network also works with countries that are not in favour of abolishing the death penalty and encourages them to change their minds on the issue and then ratify the relevant international instruments.
FIACAT is an active member of the World Coalition against the Death Penalty and works on a regional and international level towards greater adoption of legal instruments and further commitments by countries on the matter.
FIACAT is trying to persuade the Vatican authorities officially to condemn the death penalty on the basis that it infringes a person’s right to life.
FIACAT, founding member of the World Coalition against the Death Penalty and member of its Steering Committee.
The Coalition, created in May 2002, aims to reinforce the international dimension of the fight against capital punishment, and to contribute everywhere it exists, to the reduction and, better still, to the definitive abolition of death sentences and executions.
The Coalition was given the mission to facilitate the constitution and the development of national coalitions against the death penalty, to take actions such as lobbying in international organizations and countries, and to organize events of international significance. The Coalition has declared October 10th World Day against the Death Penalty. http://www.worldcoalition.org
Against the death penalty: killing to show that killing is wrong?
The death penalty violates the most fundamental human right, that to life, as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and is the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
The years that some detainees spend on death row can also constitute a kind of torture, universally prohibited by the 1984 Convention against Torture.
Today, the general trend in the world is towards abolition.