In this podcast we hear from the President of the International Federation of Action of Christians Against Torture who explains their work to raise awareness of torture and to camapign for its abolition worldwide.
Ever since it was founded, in 1974, ACAT (Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture) has campaigned on behalf of people who are tortured, detained in inhuman conditions, sentenced to death or “disappeared”, whatever their origins, political opinions or religious beliefs.
ACAT seeks to increase awareness in the Churches and amongst Christians of the existence of torture and the need, for reasons of Christian faith, to work towards its abolition, in particular by writing letters in response to the political leaders of countries in which torture is practised.
There are currently around 30 ACATs throughout the world – 25 are affiliated ACATs and the other ones are applicant associations. The whole ACAT network meets at least once every four years, during the FIACAT International Council.
International Day in Support of Victims of Torture – 26 June
On 26 June 1987 the Convention against Torture came into force. It was an important step in the much-needed process of globalising human rights and aknowledging that torture, and all forms of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, are absolutely and universally illegal. IN 1997, the United Nations General Assembly decided to mark this historic date and designated 26 June each year as International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
Every year, the member-organisations of CINAT (Coalition of International NGOs against torture) discuss how to celebrate this Day together, but each organisation in its own way.
These last few years, leaders of the Christian Churches in more and more countries of the world encourage their faithful to become involved in prayer, information and action on the occasion of this day of 26 June. They thus show their support for the action undertaken by the ACAT and all other movements against torture.
On behalf of victims of torture, – degraded in their bodies, wounded in their spirits, ravished of their rights -, ACATs and FIACAT welcome the support of the Christian Churches on the occasion of this Day and call on all Christians to show, by prayer and actions, their solidarity with victims of torture, our equals, our sisters and brothers in God.