ST. PAUL, Minn.—The Center for Victims of Torture™ (CVT) today presents its annual Eclipse Award to the Honorable Keith Ellison, Attorney General for the State of Minnesota. The award is presented each year to an individual or organization that has played a crucial role in ending torture or in extending care and rehabilitation to torture survivors.
The murder of George Floyd in 2020 by a Minneapolis police officer horrified the world and brought about racial reckoning on a new and long-overdue scale. Video of the murder made it clear to CVT that Mr. Floyd was tortured to death. As details unfolded and calls for accountability intensified, the world watched to see how another death of an unarmed Black man by police would be resolved. This year, CVT will present its annual Eclipse Award to Attorney General Keith Ellison for his work leading the prosecution of Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty of George Floyd’s murder.
“This year, we focus on the importance of holding accountable those who have committed torture. After the murder of George Floyd, CVT clients – all of whom have survived torture – told us they too had experienced actions like those of Chauvin. Holding a torturer accountable is, sadly, rare, and it is extremely important. A guilty verdict like this is an important step in accountability, which can support healing for survivors and communities deeply affected by police brutality and impunity,” said Curt Goering, CVT executive director. “Attorney General Ellison displayed a steadfast commitment to the rule of law in the case of Derek Chauvin, and made history for his resolve to ensure that an act of deadly torture was punished.”
Attorney General Ellison will accept the Eclipse Award today in a virtual ceremony held to honor his work and dedication to accountability. “I am truly honored to recognize the hard work of Attorney General Ellison and his unswerving dedication to holding a torturer accountable for his actions,” said Goering.
In addition, today’s event will take a moment to bid farewell to Goering, who announced in January that he will leave CVT as of July 1. CVT will reflect on his ten years of leadership and the growth and progress CVT realized during his tenure.
CVT presents the Eclipse Award each year on or around June 26, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. On June 26, 1987, the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment went into effect. Events are held around the world honoring and celebrating this day.
The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit organization headquartered in St. Paul, MN, with offices in Atlanta, GA, and Washington, D.C.; and healing initiatives in Africa and the Middle East. Visit cvt.org