28 June 2012

Liberia: EU Talks Tough Against Torture

Photo: Bellyglad/Flickr
Protests in Tunisia (file photo).

The European Union Delegation to Liberia has released a statement in Monrovia, reflecting a policy declaration by its High Representative, Catherine Ashton, against all forms and acts of torture.In the declaration, Madam Ashton reaffirmed the EU's commitment to the prevention and eradication of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and to the full rehabilitation of torture victims in all parts of the world.

The message by High Representative Ashton on behalf of the European Union is centred on the occasion of the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, 26 June 2012.In the declaration, High Representative Ashton emphasized that no culture of impunity is tolerable for people who carryon acts of torture. "This day is an occasion to speak up against this abhorrent violation of human rights and human dignity. Torture is not only a tragedy for the victims, it is also degrading and injuring those who perpetrate it and to societies which tolerate such outrage", she stressed.The EU Foreign and Security Policy Chief asserted that: "The absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is unequivocally established under international law.

No culture of impunity is acceptable." Recalling, the UN General Assembly Resolution 66/150 adopted on 19 December 2011, Madam Ashton observed that the EU reiterates its principled condemnation of all forms of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including through intimidation, which are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever and can thus never be justified.Calling upon all States to implement fully the absolute and non-derogable prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the EU High Representative advanced declared that: "The EU urges all States that have not yet done so to become parties to the Convention as a matter of priority, and calls upon States parties to give early consideration to signing and ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention.

The EU also calls upon all states to establish or maintain independent and effective mechanisms to monitor places of detention with a view to preventing acts of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment".According to the EU Senior Representative, through funding at the national and the EU level, the EU has been able to offer substantial support to organizations that provide medical, social, legal and other assistance to many men, women and children who are victims of torture with the aim of restoring their health and dignity as human beings.She disclosed that "Earlier this month on the 1st of June the EU launched a new call for proposals called "Fighting Impunity", which is dedicated to supporting civil society actions against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The total amount of the call for anti-torture project is 16.215 millions Euros".In closing the declaration, the EU High Representative commended the persistent efforts by the many NGOs and individuals working tirelessly for the prevention of torture and to alleviate the suffering of victims, as well as mobilizing public opinion on this important day in the UN calendar. "We must all stand together to make the world free from torture", she asserted.

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