IBJ Davos 2016 Interfaith Dawn Vigil and Blessing of Virtual Wall on Access to Justice

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 21, 2016 — International Bridges to Justice (IBJ) has hosted its annual “Interfaith Peace Vigil” on Wednesday, January 20th at the Herz-Jesu Kirche in Davos, during the World Economic Forum 2016.

“Growing interreligious tensions must be met with strong demonstrations of inclusive communities and interfaith cooperation” says Rev. Karen Tse, an international human rights lawyer and ordained Unitarian minister, who founded IBJ more than a decade ago. “We lead by example to show that people can come together and pray for justice and peace, no matter who they are”

IBJ fosters legal rights in developing countries to aid ordinary citizens suffering under failed judicial systems. It works on the ground supporting a network of hundreds of local defense attorneys and legal aid representatives in more than 37 countries around the world.

Every year at Davos, International Bridges to Justice gathers leaders from all faiths to share blessings and demonstrate support for IBJ’s mission to ensure due process rights for indigent accused  and end torture as a method of investigation around the world.

Opening words were given by Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-founder of Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, and a member of the Advisory Board of IBJ. The candlelit vigil included live instrumental music and  was a welcome rest from the hectic atmosphere at Davos.

“The use of state-sanctioned torture to extract forced confessions is one of the worlds worst Human Rights violations in plain sight” says Ms Tse.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, Rabbi David Rosen, Ayatollah Ahmad Iravani and Bani Dugal, along with the local Davos religious community all came together to offer blessings and condemn the practice of torture. Participants signed ribbons with messages to be projected onto the IBJ Virtual Wishing Wall for Justice and Peace.

International Bridges to Justice is a unique organisation. Our mission to end investigative torture is directly related to early access to counsel, IBJ partners with justice ministries at the national level as well as working directly with defense lawyers at the grassroots level to uphold the rights of individuals ensnared in failed judicial systems. This way, IBJ transforms the problem and produces  durable improvements in the legal infrastructure within  the countries where we are present. The  ultimate aim of IBJ  uphold due process rights for all people and  end torture as an investigative tool worldwide.

A fence with ribbons remains outside the Herz-Jesu Kirche, Promenade 123, Davos Dorf for anyone to visit and give their support by signing a ribbon.

Write your own message for the IBJ Virtual Wishing Wall for Justice and Peace to davos@ibj.org or go to: http://padlet.com/a2j/IBJWishingWall

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL BRIDGES TO JUSTICE (IBJ)

IBJ is dedicated to ensuring legal rights worldwide and abolishing torture as a means of judicial investigation. Based in Geneva, it supports a network of defense lawyers at the grassroots level in more than 37 countries. Since 2002, IBJ has trained over 22,700 lawyers, taken on over 30,000 cases and reached over 25 million people with legal rights awareness campaigns. It is a registered non-profit organization in Europe and the United States.