Paris, 10 December 2011
Human Rights Day
As of 2011, the majority of the world’s countries continue to practice torture, be it an outstanding event or a regularity. Quite often, those responsible for the acts of torture are not prosecuted. There exists a widespread culture of impunity. On this 10th December, Human Rights Day, FIACAT  reiterates the importance of the fight against impunity. This fight will only succeed with the criminalization of torture in national penal codes, provided by Article Four of the United Nations Convention against Torture: “Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law.”
“In the absence of criminalization, the absolute prohibition of torture is rendered meaningless. It does nothing to prevent or effectively suppress torture, nor does it allow the rights of victims to be restored” stresses Sylvie Bukhari-de Pontual, President of FIACAT.
For instance, out of the fifty-three countries on the African continent, where the FIACAT network maintains a strong presence, only eight states have criminalized torture in their penal code. Those countries are Algeria, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Mauritius, Madagascar and Tunisia.
FIACAT calls all State Parties to the United Nations Convention against Torture to introduce without delay legislation criminalizing torture in their national criminal law.
The victims of torture have the right to truth and justice.
FIACAT: Marie-Jo Cocher: +33 (0)1 42 80 01 60 – firstname.lastname@example.org