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[Press Release] 26 June 1987 – 26 June 2007: 20 years of fighting torture

June 2007

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26 June 1987 – 26 June 2007:

26 June 1987 – 26 June 2007:

20 years of fighting torture




Paris, 21 June 2007



On 26 June 2007, the United Nations Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment will be 20 years old. To date, 143 countries have ratified it.

And it will be 10 years since the United Nations General Assembly designated this date as the International Day in support of victims of torture.


Over these 20 years, nations have undertaken to put an end to torture. Prevention mechanisms have been set up at regional and international level. But torture still goes on, in too many places in the world. The absolute ban on torture, whether on moral or legal grounds, is now openly questioned in the name of the fight against terrorism.


More than ever, the International Federation of ACAT (Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture), which also celebrates its 20th birthday this year, must be the voice of a strong commitment by Christians to uphold this ban. Nothing and nobody can justify torture. Human dignity is inviolable and indivisible. It cannot be made to depend on any contingency or compromise. It is universal.


FIACAT calls on Christian Churches all over the world to speak out publicly and resolutely for a total and unconditional repudiation of torture. There is an urgent need for Christians to reject any argument for legitimising the use of torture


For the second consecutive year, 12 ACAT groups are holding a night of prayer during the night of 23 to 24 June 2007, when Christians of all denominations will pray for the victims of torture.

Contact: Marie-Jo Cocher

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