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Time to accede to UN Convention Against Torture

Nearly two decades ago on Dec 12, 1997, the United Nations General Assembly saw it fit to proclaim June 26 as the annual International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

Torture, including abuse and ill-treatment at the hands of the state, had become a matter of grave international concern. The UN looked to governments for more effective measures to fight against torture through the adoption of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, referred to as the UN Convention against Torture (UN CAT).

On June 26, 2015, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), Bar Council Malaysia, Amnesty International Malaysia, Lawyers for Liberty and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) embarked on the #ACT4CAT Campaign with the objective of advocating for Malaysia’s accession to UN CAT and promoting greater understanding and appreciation of the need to prevent and eliminate all acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the country.

In conjunction with the first anniversary of the #ACT4CAT Campaign, we, partners of the campaign, renew our commitment to undertake concerted efforts towards achieving the goals of the campaign, and urge the government of Malaysia to:

1. Accede to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; and

2. Take the necessary legislative, policy and administrative measures to ensure the effective prevention of any practice that could lead to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Signed by the following groups:

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam)
Bar Council Malaysia
Amnesty International Malaysia
Suaram
Lawyers for Liberty

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