Sunday, 26 June 2016
Amnesty International travelled Brussels by bike on Sunday to denounce torture. It was part of the International day against torture. Around 50 cyclists stopped in front of the Philippine, Mexican, Uzbekistan, Moroccan and Nigerian embassies, and handed in petitions.
“More than 150 countries ratified the Anti-torture convention, but the atrocious practice continues in two thirds of the world’s countries. There is no reason to sit back and do nothing. Today’s action shows the countries concerned we have our eye on them”, a spokesperson for Amnesty International Belgium said.
The organisation gave the protest its own slogan, and tagged “Amnesty is watching you” on the pavements in front of the five embassies it visited. A petition with tens of thousands of signatures calling for the liberation of tortured prisoners held in these countries was also left at the embassies.
More than 2 million signatures were collected from all over the world, 150,000 of them in Belgium.
The organisation’s efforts sometimes pay off. The Nigerian Moses Akatugba was released last year. At the age of 16, he was tortured into falsely confessing to stealing a mobile phone and sentenced to death.