Action Card - May 2019     Issues of Torture
Material provided by Action by Christians Against Torture (ACAT-UK)

After recalling at Easter how Jesus Christ was tortured to death on the Cross, let us not forget that at any single moment of the day people are being tortured in many parts of the world - in any way you can imagine and in some ways you cannot.

Action by Christians Against Torture (ACAT-UK), an ecumenical movement, was established in 1984 to campaign for the global abolition of torture. States try to hide it. We help to expose it by writing to authorities and governments on behalf of victims and their families, urging them to expose torture, release prisoners, improve prison conditions and bring torturers to justice. Our appeals run throughout the year with special campaigns at Christmas and Easter to send greetings and messages of encouragement to victims. ACAT supports all who have undergone torture,  who are threatened by it or who are in danger because they speak out against it. In addition ACAT campaigns for and sends messages of hope to those imprisoned or persecuted because of their faith.

ACAT-UK also works for the abolition of the death penalty, which can be imposed not just for murder but also for many other crimes. In practice the penalty is applied to the poor, the powerless, minorities or to individuals seen as enemies by repressive governments. 90% of executions take place in just seven countries: China, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, USA and Yemen. Some countries do not publish statistics and it can even be a state secret. Methods of execution include hanging, shooting, garrotting, stoning, lethal injection and beheading and can involve elaborate rituals.

Why not write to just one of the cases featured in our recent Easter campaign appeal?

Nguyen Trung Ton is an outspoken human rights defender and Protestant pastor in Vietnam. Kidnapped by state agents in 2017, stripped naked, tied, beaten and abandoned in a remote mountainous location, his knees and lungs were damaged. He was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for attempting to overthrow the state and has been isolated and pressured to write letters accepting the charges against him.

We do not know if a message of encouragement will reach him but at least the authorities will know he is not forgotten. Send a simple non-religious message on a picture card to him in the prison (e.g. ‘We are thinking of you.’). Do not mention ACAT or a religious affiliation.

The address is: Nguyen Trung Ton, Xa Hra - Huyen Mang Yang, Gia Lai, Vietnam. Include your name and address if you wish.

To join ACAT contact: ACAT-UK, C/o 25 Higher Woolbrook Park, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 9ED (Email:
uk.acat@gmail.com <mailto:uk.acat@gmail.com>  
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