UCC Against Torture
Torture happens throughout the world and most countries want it to stop. It is illegal, but that doesn’t prevent it from occurring. Because prisons, jails, immigrant detention facilities, mental health institutions, youth detention facilities, and other places of detention are often not monitored, torture and abuse can occur – often by guards and other employees.
Torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment are contrary to our faith traditions and beliefs regarding the integrity of creation and fundamental dignity of the human being.
As people of faith, we have an obligation to protect those who cannot protect themselves and ensure that no person is tortured or abused.
Observe Human Rights Day – Work to end Torture
Human Rights Day is December 10, 2013. Our faith traditions hold that we were made in God’s image, yet as a nation we have not codified ending torture and today hold over 80,000 people in long-term solitary confinement.
Learn more and download the toolkit from our partners at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture on how we can recover our commitment to human rights.
NRCAT invites you to mark Human Rights Day during worship services and through advocacy activities during either the weekend of December 6-8, December 13-15, or another time of your choosing. Download their free Human Rights Day Toolkit now.
This year our Human Rights Day focus is on Solitary Confinement in an Age of Mass Incarceration. We invite you and your congregation to focus on the human rights crisis faced by over 80,000 people being held in long-term solitary confinement in the U.S. Prisoners in solitary confinement are locked in a cement cell alone 23-24 hours a day, seven days a week, sometimes for months, years, even decades. The United Nations Special Rapporteur Against Torture, Juan Mendez, has stated that to keep an adult in solitary confinement for more than 15 days constitutes torture, and has called for a prohibition on the use of solitary confinement for youth and those with mental illness.
Learn more about Human Rights Day and download the NRCAT toolkit.
Want more? Check out NRCAT’s video series, including clip of UCC DC Office director Sandy Sorensen.
Fact Not Fiction Campaign
The UCC has partnered with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture to spread the word about a new effort focused on the movie Zero Dark Thirty. Although Zero Dark Thirty is a critically acclaimed film nominated for several awards, the film implies – inaccurately – that torture led to critical intelligence in the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
It is important that peole know the facts about this movie, and the facts about torture. Torture is immoral, illegal, and counterproductive. Will you help share this message? More information is available at NRCAT Fact Not Fiction Campaign
How Can You Get Involved?
We are happy to help you in implementing these tasks. If you have any questions, please contact Rev. Michael Neuroth - firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.543.1517.