The United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is held annually on 26 June to speak out against the crime of torture and to honour and support victims and survivors throughout the world.
Torture seeks to annihilate the victim’s personality and denies the inherent dignity of the human being. Despite the absolute prohibition of torture under international law, torture persists in all regions of the world today. The United Nations condemns torture as one of the vilest acts perpetrated by human beings on their fellow human beings.
“Torture remains unacceptable and unjustified at all times, including during states of emergency, political instability, or even in a war. On this day, let us also pay tribute to all those who stand in solidarity with victims and their families – and reaffirm our commitment to ending this abominable and useless practice.” (UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres)
Pope Francis also condemns any form of torture.
On this day, we pray for all victims of torture and for their families. We pray for those tortured in wars and conflicts around the world. We remember those who are being tortured because of their ethnicity, their gender or their sexuality. We recall the millions suffering torture because of their political or religious beliefs. We also remember prisoners and detainees who too often experience cruel forms of mental and physical torture in jails and detention centres.