U.N. Convention Against Torture Ratified by Vatican

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 26, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican officially ratified a U.N. convention against torture, calling it a «valid and fitting instrument to struggle against attempts on the dignity of the human person.»

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The Convention Against Torture and Other Punishments or Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatments had been adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1984. The convention came into force in June 1987 and has been ratified by 129 countries.

The document of adherence, signed by John Paul II, was handed to the New York office of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan by Archbishop Renato Martino, the Vatican´s U.N. permanent observer.

The date chosen was significant, as June 26 has been proclaimed the U.N. International Day of Support to the Victims of Torture.

Archbishop Martino reminded the U.N. secretariat that «in contemporary times the Catholic Church has constantly pronounced itself in favor of the unconditional respect of life itself, and has clearly condemned all that which constitutes a violation of the integrity of the human person, such as mutilations, physical or moral torture, [and] psychological pressures.»

«With this spirit, the Vatican wishes to contribute its moral support and collaboration to the international community, to encourage the elimination of the inadmissible and inhuman recourse to torture,» the archbishop said.

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