The European Union (EU) has reaffirmed its commitment to eradicate torture and other forms of cruel and inhuman treatment, and the full rehabilitation of victims around the world.
EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on behalf of the EU, made this reaffirmation during a declaration yesterday on the occasion of the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture usually observed by the UN on June 26 every year.
“Today I would like to reaffirm 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. This day is an occasion to speak up against this abhorrent violation of human rights and human dignity,’’ Ashton said in a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja yesterday.
She stressed that 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. “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,” she added.
She called on all States to adopt a gender-sensitive approach in the fight against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, paying special attention to gender-based violence.
Recalling Resolution 66/150 adopted by the UN General Assembly on 19 December 2011, the EU scribe reiterated the EU 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,” she noted.
The EU according to Ashton has called 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 urged all states that have not yet done so to become parties to the Convention as a matter of priority, and called upon states parties to give early consideration to signing and ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention. “We must all stand together to make the world free from torture,” she declared.
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 projects is 16.215 million Euros.
She said further that Acceding Country Croatia*, the Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland+ and Serbia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA countries Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, align themselves with the declaration.
Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process. Iceland continues to be a member of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area according to the statement.