Cordial greetings to the dedicated team of Balay Rehabilitation Center and the members of the United Against Torture Coalition (UATC) as you organize for the "Basta Run Against Torture" in your torture prevention campaign in support of victims of torture.
The International Day in Support of Victims of Torture contains a momentous message to the perpetrators for their inhuman and illegal use of torture. This Day is a special occasion for each and every one, ordinary people, human rights organizations, responsible politicians and concerned privates and offices in the law enforcement sector, to join hands and campaign for an immediate stop to torture. It is a special occasion to recall the message of the International Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment which was adopted by UN's General Assembly on 10 December 1984, and to give full recognition to the voiceless victims of torture and organized violence.
The human rights movement in the Philippines has come a long way in the past 25 years and proven the fact that it is committed of supporting the victims of torture and defending their basic rights for justice as human beings and citizens. Being united and working in solidarity the UATC members show empathy and offer psychosocial and legal assistance to victims of torture and their families. The United Against Torture Coalition in the Philippines sends a comforting signal to the unknown number of persons who in recent years have been tortured by police and security officials in the Philippines that they are not alone and partnership are extended to them.
We in the Rehabilitation and Research Center for Torture Victims (RCT), Denmark, are committed to a global vision of a world without torture. To share and fulfill our vision, our cooperating partner, Balay, and the UATC have played a significant role. We are thankful to you for sharing with us your faith and commitment to rehabilitate victims of torture and organize for the prevention of torture. We appreciate your courage to protest against impunity for the perpetrators and your demand for legal action from the responsible Government of the Philippines against those who use torture as a means to suppress and destroy individuals, their families and entire communities.
It is our wish that the UATC will carry on this noble calling as you enjoy continued success in all your various endeavors. Indeed, the day will come when the use of torture will be a phenomenon of the past. We join you in dedicating our utmost support the peace process and at the same time to bring to an end the inhuman use of torture.
Jan Ole Haagensen
Director, International Department
Rehabilitation and Research Torture for Torture Victims*
*RCT is a self-governing institution independent of party politics. RCT's main fields of activities are: (1) clinical research, (2) method development, (3) treatment and rehabilitation of torture survivors, (4) education, (5) advocacy, (6) project work in cooperation with partner organizations abroad.