12 June 2022
by Sergei Babinets, a human rights lawyer who until recently was chair person of the Committee Against Torture. He currently heads the Team against Torture
Facebook, 12 June 2022
Yesterday members of the Committee against Torture decided to shut down the organization after it was added to the registry of foreign agents.
We do not want to continue to work while bearing the stigma of “foreign agent.” We consider the term an insult and slander.
The Committee against Torture has spent its whole life defending the rights of citizens who have suffered from torture, from inhuman treatment on the part of official persons of state organs.
Despite the obvious value of this mission, the regime has for many years in a row attempted to ascribe to it a profile of foreignness and harmfulness, year after year adding NGOs that fight torture to the registry of foreign agents.
Evidently, the regime is signaling that torture is becoming (or has become) a part of state policy and is not a problem. Here I would like to remind them of the Constitution, which prohibits torture (for now).
Torture is an absolute evil that must be fought. This is axiomatic! On the scale of human rights, “freedom from torture” comes in first place. There can be no justification for the derogation of this right.
The Committee against Torture is people, people who care what kind of country they live in, people who give a damn how the regime, officials, and law enforcement agencies treat you and me, people who want freedom from illegal violence and inhuman treatment.
We want to live in a Russia without torture, and we will absolutely make our country better.
That is our duty.
In the next few days we will be talking about our plans and about how we are going to go on without the Committee against Torture.
This is not goodbye.
Translated by Marian Schwartz