The UN Convention Against Torture (CAT) and Other Cruel or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was adopted June 26, 1987. Ten years later, this date was established as the annual International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

Senator John McCain, who as a prisoner of war and victim of torture, suffered much of what the convention bans. He was an ardent supporter to victims of torture and one of the world’s loudest voices against its use, rarely missing the opportunity to denounce it. This is the legacy we continue.

Below is a key excerpt from his seminal 2014 floor speech in the U.S. Senate. Two of our leading experts, Ambassador Clint Williamson and Lt. Gen (ret) Ben Freakley, discuss that and more in a special In The Arena podcast: “Is Torture Ever Justified?

“Most of all, I know the use of torture compromises that which distinguishes us from our enemies, our belief that all people, even captured enemies, possess basic human rights, which are protected by international conventions the U.S. not only joined, but for the most part authored.” – Senator John McCain