ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Center for Victims of Torture™ (CVT) today issued this statement as threats of violence connected to the Presidential Inauguration continue to surface after last week’s violent attack on democracy.
“As an organization that extends care to people from many countries around the world who have survived torture by the state, last week’s violent coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol, incited by the president and carried out with craven abandon by some of his supporters, was not only horrifying, but familiar. Many of our clients have witnessed precisely this kind of deadly refusal to relinquish power, and they know the negative ramifications for individual and collective human rights, security and liberty. Many have lost loved ones to precisely this kind of violence.
“As Inauguration Day approaches, we hear of more threats of violence against our elected officials and our national and state capitols. These are the acts and threats of white supremacists, fostered by a president who has delivered a non-stop torrent of bigotry, misinformation and lies, and who systematically and recklessly disregards the rule of law. The attack last week was a clear illustration of the white supremacy that is creating fear and poisoning our political climate, an ugly and dramatic display of the racist and violent intentions of citizens who seek to erode democratic ideals and processes.
“Many CVT clients speak of the grief they feel for the lack of respect for human rights, rule of law and democracy in their countries, and wish they could go home again one day. But for most, that may never again be a possibility. The checks and balances that would have allowed for liberty, freedom and justice in too many cases were destroyed. The fear caused by the presence of such acts, threats and ideologies has tangible psychological and physiological consequences, and our clients are working hard to heal and rebuild their lives.
“As the U.S. confronts the fear of violence – which is the intended result of violent behaviors like these – we must remember the truth: there must be respect for human rights and the rule of law, liberty for everyone, democracy for all, and there must be accountability and justice for those who would use violence and lies to attack democratic institutions and maintain power. We cannot allow impunity.” –Curt Goering, executive director
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 www.cvt.org.