Media Advisory: Torture is a Weapon Against Democracy Symposium on June 26

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

St. Paul, MN –In commemoration of June 26—International Day in Support of Victims of Torture—the Center for Victims of Torture, ™ the Human Rights Institute at Georgetown Law and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota are hosting a half-day symposium on Torture is a Weapon Against Democracy: How the United States is Working to End Torture Globally on June 26, 2013, at Georgetown Law.

The symposium will bring together policymakers, academics, nongovernmental organizations, and torture survivors to discuss how torture acts as an assault on the fundamental pillars of democracy and why torture survivor rehabilitation matters for building or rebuilding trust and establishing or restoring democratic institutions.

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont is the keynote speaker. Following his remarks, Senator Leahy will be presented with CVT’s annual Eclipse Award in recognition of his extraordinary leadership in the protection of refugees, promotion of human rights, prevention of torture, and efforts to ensure survivors of torture have access to rehabilitative care. 

The symposium will feature two panel discussions: “Torture’s Assault on Fundamental Pillars of Democracy” and “Building Trust and Establishing or Restoring Democratic Institutions: Why Survivor Rehabilitation Matters.”

Among the speakers are Eric Schwartz, Professor and Dean, Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota; Anne C. Richard, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration; Paula Schriefer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of International Organization Affairs; Sarah E. Mendelson, Deputy Assistant Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development, Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance; Juan Mendez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture; and Lorne Craner, President of the International Republican Institute.

WHAT:     Torture is Weapon Against Democracy: How the United States is Working to End Torture Globally symposium

WHEN:      Wednesday, June 26, 2013
                  8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

WHERE:     Georgetown Law
                  Gewirz, 12th floor
                  600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
                  Washington, DC


Brad Robideau
brobideau [at]

Media Contact

Jenni Bowring-McDonough
Media Relations Manager
+1 612-436-4886 (office) or +1 651-226-3858 (mobile)
Journalists:  If you’d like to receive CVT press releases, please email your request to Jenni Bowring-McDonough at jbowring [at]




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