Every June 26, since 2006, the Night of Vigil brings together Christians who are engaged in ACAT-France's cause. This initiative is the brainchild of Anne-Cécile Antoni, then vice-president of the association.
On June 26, 1987 the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into force. Its first article defines torture as :
"any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. " The United Nations General Assembly has therefore chosen this day, June 26, to reassert that the equality and inalienability of the rights of the human family are the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
While ACAT-France was already in the habit of joining Amnesty International on this day, it wished to mark this day of the international civil calendar with a Christian touch. The Night of Vigil henceforth gives a spiritual meaning to the defense of human rights.