On June 26th, the world commemorates International Day of Support for Victims of Torture, which was established in 1997 by the United Nations.
Torture is considered a crime under international law. Under all international statutes, torture is absolutely prohibited and cannot be justified under any circumstances.
The systematic and widespread practice of torture is a crime against humanity.
In light of the above, we the undersigned in this declaration:
1. Reaffirm that thousands and thousands of persons who were tortured under dictatorships and who continue suffering torture should be able to count on the the support of their government for their psychological and physical recuperation, and should receive reparation measures as established under these same United Nations guidelines, including a guarantee to not repeat any form of torture against survivors.
2. Reaffirm that in all of Latin America and also in the United States there should be an end to the practice of torture, which agents of state have nonetheless repeated and which many times has resulted in executions and the forced disappearance of persons.
3. Reaffirm that there should be no impunity for these crimes, and that state agents who have committed torture, executions and forced disappearances no longer continue to enjoy impunity.
4. Reaffirm that the training of police and military personnel from Latin America in the new "School of the Americas" (now known as WHINSEC, the Western Hemispheres Institute for Security Cooperation), should be ended. Whether this training is given at WHINSEC or by Mobile Training Teams (MTT) in the receiving countries, or whether the training is provided through other US military or police institutions, such training has continued promoting the use of violence and repression for the defense of "national security," and needs to end.
5. We call on all national governments, including that of the United States, to put an end to torture and to the criminalization of social protest, and an end to the repression experienced by students, indigenous communities, campesinos, communities of color, human rights protectors, environmentalists and those working against extractionism and mega-projects, and all who legitimately struggle in defense of their own rights and the rights of the environment.
6. Finally, we express our solidarity with all survivors of instruments of torture, who up to and including this very day struggle to move beyond the traumatic consequences which torture represents in their lives.
You can add your name to this petition here