While working on the 26 June Global Report, in particular on the list of States which have and have not ratified the UN Convention against Torture, I noticed something peculiar.
From the short list of States which have not ratified the Convention — of which many are microstates — three of them are members of the Portuguese-speaking community of countries, namely Angola, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé and Príncipe.
I am Portuguese and I am from a generation of young people who want to completely break away from the hostilities that marked this group of countries in the 60s and 70s.
This generation dreams of a true community of Lusophone countries that uses the shared heritage as a tool to advance human development and cultural enrichment.
Disregard for basic human rights does not and cannot be part of this new Lusophone community, the home of nearly 250 million people, where more than a million people already exchanged their country for another in the community.
That is why I decided to write an open letter to the leaders of the CPLP (in Portuguese only), the Lusophone equivalent to the Commonwealth or the Francophonie, calling for concerted efforts towards the ratification of the Convention by the three remaining countries, so that the whole community can adhere together to the cause for a world without torture.
Fabio is a Communications Officer and Assistant Editor of Torture Journal at IRCT.