FIACAT grows in strength and influence on international and regional stages !


Submission of alternative reports, technical contributions and thematic reports, advocacy, chairing panels and sideevents at the UN, the EU and the  ACHPR – by these means FIACAT has raised the profile of the ACATs in international and regional bodies. It has shared the concerns of its members, in particular regarding the crucial link between the death penalty and torture, which is in no case admissible, the problem of detention in accordance with the Nelson Mandela Rules, the need to prevent torture, especially in Africa, by disseminating the Abidjan Rules and ensuring compliance, the threat posed by obstacles to the freedom of association and peaceful assembly, along with the criminalisation of the status ofhuman rights defenders. How can one not be anxious about the shrinking of the civic space, which is occurring on all continents, enforced with varying degrees of brutality, thus motivating civil society to be more resilient and to resist the intimidation which is the aim of the authorities? Even more importantly, strategies must be reinvented for countering this tendency.

With these points in mind, FIACAT presents a united front with the consortium United Against Torture, which brings together 200 civil society organisations aiming to fight against torture. Along with 50 partner organisations, it also remains committed to the pan-African Campaign for the decriminalisation of minor offences, in effect the decriminalisation of poverty. Along with the World Coalition against the Death Penalty, during a conference organised by the European Union and the African Union, it took part in the launch on 10 October 2023 in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) of the continent-wide campaign for adoption of the draft African Protocol against the death penalty. This strengthening of its international and regional position, which confers legitimacy and credibility, does not prevent it from carrying out its own programmes.

Thus in Africa FIACAT is successfully pursuing its programme to combat abusive pre-trial detention in Congo Brazzaville, Madagascar and Côte d’Ivoire, where the expertise of the national ACATs in this field confers legitimacy. With regard to the programme to combat the death penalty, FIACAT was pleased to note that in 2023 Ghana was the 27th African state to enshrine abolition in law. The links between the network members continue to strengthen through the ACAT Cafés, with the involvement of the International Secretariat at various regional and international meetings concerned with human rights and training.  2023 saw the return of the Norbert KENNE training programme, which aims to strengthen the capacity of members of the network and its civil society partners as regards human rights and the abolition of torture. These are all reasons to be optimistic about the future of the ACATs and FIACAT. All this striking vitality is the result of the commitment of each ACAT member and sympathiser, of men and women of goodwill and of the International Secretariat, the kingpin of this machine which is becoming ever more powerful. THANK YOU to all, in the name of Jesus Christ, the link which binds us together and our HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.

That hope has already dawned with the elective International Council which is being held this year. Happily, a new day full of promise is dawning. Long live the ACATs, long live FIACAT!