WCC to meet 'Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture' in Geneva

( [email protected] ) Jun 11, 2004 11:01 AM EDT

The international day for supporting victims of torture is on June 26. Representatives from the organizing group, the International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (ACAT) will meet with the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia at WCC headquarters in Geneva on June 11.

This meeting with WCC leaders will be an occasion to share information and explore the possibilities for joint statements and future joint actions.

In the midst of the tense relationship between the US government and Iraq people following the recent release of photos showing the tortured Iraqi prisoners, ACAT called on the US and British governments to take up their responsibility in Iraq and "to fully investigate all allegations of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment in all places of detention". The US government should also do the same in other places under its authority, including Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay. It also asked the US to sign the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture.

ACAT is a campaign with special concern for people who are tortured, detained in inhuman conditions, sentenced to death or “disappeared”. Since its foundation in 1974, it has sough to increase awareness in the Churches and amongst Christians of the existence of torture. It helps Christians to understand the need, for reasons of Christian faith, to work towards the abolition of torture.

ACAT works on an ecumenical basis, bringing together Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and other Christians. Working in a Christian perspective, ACAT believes that prayer is central to its action. Currently, it has a network of 27 countries throughout the world.

Leading will be the chairman of the ACAT, Patrick Byrne, and the other four leaders from the federation will also be available for press interview upon request between 12:00-14:00 at the WCC Ecumenical Center in Geneva.