Torture“…a respect for the dignity of every person, ally or enemy, must serve as the foundation of the pursuit of justice and peace. There can be no compromise on the moral imperative to protect the basic human rights of any individual incarcerated for any reason.”
– From the Letter to House and Senate Conferees on Human Rights and Torture signed by The Most Reverend John H. Ricard, Chairman, Committee on International Policy, USCCB
Torture is proscribed in international law. Various definitions exist, but it is commonly considered to refer to severe mental and physical pain and suffering intentionally inflicted on a person, typically by someone in an official position or under the authority of someone acting in an official capacity. It can be used for the purpose of trying to obtain information, to punish or intimidate. International humanitarian law does not require that the person responsible for the torture be in an official position.
The Oblate JPIC Office endorses the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC) and the National Religious Coalition against Torture.
TASSC argues that “…there is plenty of evidence that in the end, torture does not provide greater national security, but rather threatens it. Violence indeed begets violence. We therefore stand firm in our position that there can be zero tolerance for torture.”
The National Religious Coalition Against Torture asserts in its statement of conscience, which all are encouraged to sign, that: “Torture violates the basic dignity of the human person that all religions, in their highest ideals, hold dear. It degrades everyone involved — policy-makers, perpetrators and victims. It contradicts our nation’s most cherished ideals. Any policies that permit torture and inhumane treatment are shocking and morally intolerable.”
Please visit the websites of these two organizations campaigning to stop torture: