26 June 2008
Christians committed to support victims of torture
Paris, 26 June 2008
Torture, which is practised in more than half the nations on the planet, constitutes an assault on an intangible human right – the physical, psychological and moral integrity of each individual. It destroys human dignity – the very foundation of human rights – proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose sixtieth anniversary we celebrate this year.
Now more than ever we need to take action to continue the struggle for the abolition of torture and to restore dignity to its victims and their families, whom we honour in particular on 26 June, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, proclaimed 11 years ago by the United Nations General Assembly.
The International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (FIACAT) takes this opportunity to reiterate the appeal launched on 31 October 2007 by Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, chairman of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace: ‘Christians are called upon to cooperate in the defence of human rights and in the abolition of the death penalty and of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments or treatment, whether in time of peace or of war. Such practices constitute serious crimes against the human person, created in the image of God (Genesis 1, 27), and a scandal for the human family in the twenty-first century’.
Christians form a community of faith and prayer in the service of the poorest and most vulnerable and among these, the victims of torture.
For the third consecutive year, a number of ACAT organisations propose that Christians of all denominations pray for torture victims during the night from 28 to 29 June 2008, the ‘Night of Vigil’.
Christians are together called upon to commit themselves to the campaign for the victims of torture and, more than ever, to proclaim and proclaim again the supreme dignity of each human being.
Marie-Jo Cocher – email@example.com
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