Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture leaders
to meet WCC general secretary
on 11 June 2004
They will be available for interview upon request
between 12:00-14:00 at the
Ecumenical Centre, 150 route de Ferney, Geneva
As the international day for supporting the victims of torture (26 June) approaches, four leaders of 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, Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia at WCC headquarters in Geneva.
Founded in 1974, ACAT campaigns on behalf of people who are tortured, detained in inhuman conditions, sentenced to death or "disappeared". The International Federation (FIACAT) brings together about 30 national associations from four continents.
Following the recent revelations on torture inflicted on Iraqi prisoners, FIACAT called on the US and British governments "to fully investigate all allegations of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment in all places of detention" under their responsibility in Iraq, and the US government to 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 celebrating its 30 birthday in 2004, and is planning a variety of events, including meetings with Roman Catholic Church leaders in Rome in June, ahead of the 26 June international day, and an ecumenical celebration in Notre Dame cathedral followed by an international meeting at UNESCO in Paris in December. The meeting with WCC leaders will be an occasion to share information and explore the possibilities for joint statements and future joint actions.
Representing FIACAT at the meeting in Geneva:
Patrick Byrne, chairman
Philippe Westercamp, treasurer
Sylvie Bukhari de Pontual, responsible for liaison with international organizations
Jean-Claude Huot, responsible for European and church relations
Claire Chimelli, Geneva representative.
FIACAT leaders will be available for interview between 12:00 - 14:00 on Friday 11 June. Members of the press are invited to call the WCC Media Relations Office to schedule an interview.