World Organisation Against Torture: 2008 Annual Report

In 2007 and 2008, OMCT demonstrated through studying numerous cases that those whose economic, social and cultural rights had been violated were often imprisoned and mistreated if they protested. In this respect OMCT has done pioneer work and it has been heard: the violation of economic, social and cultural rights is now recognised as one of the causes of torture. OMCT will pursue its action in this area while at the same time targeting another cause of torture which was highlighted in its General Assembly in December 2008: that of relativism; the relativism on the part of citizens and States which certainly denounce the practice of torture but fi nd excuses for it or even tolerate it for political, cultural or economic reasons. It is this «but» that must be challenged. By attacking its causes, OMCT opens up new ways to fi ght against torture.

Having elected to its Executive Board fi ve personalities from the fi eld, OMCT wanted to acknowledge that the SOS-Torture network was its main strength. I would like to thank the Network, which has underpinned the activities of 2008. OMCT would not be able to act without the Network, or without the help of the governments which support it with a level of commitment which is appreciated. It could not do without the donations collected by the Foundation supporting OMCT and those which are sent to it directly. These donations are precious both in themselves and in the commitment against torture that they represent on the part of those who provide them. Our thanks go to all. Finally would like to personally thank Mr Kofi Annan, who not only chairs the Foundation supporting OMCT but also takes the time to give good and tactful advice, and also Mr Olivier Mach who has assumed the presidency of the Association since 2004 with faith and strength, giving his time no matter how long it takes.

Yves Berthelot

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