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Statement on Signing the Torture Victims Relief Act of 1998

October 30, 1998

Today I am pleased to sign into law H.R. 4309, the "Torture Victims Relief Act of 1998." This Act authorizes continued and expanded U.S. contributions to treatment centers, both in the United States and around the world, for persons who suffer from the mental and physical anguish of having been tortured.

The United States has contributed to these centers for many years—directly to domestic centers through the Department of Health and Human Services and to overseas centers through the Agency for International Development, and indirectly, through Department of State contributions to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for the Victims of Torture. Contributions of this nature are a concrete and practical step that the U.S. Government takes to mitigate the effects of this serious, and far too pervasive, human rights violation.

I want to stress, however, that assisting torture victims does not end the curse of torture. The United States will continue its efforts to shine a spotlight on this horrible practice wherever it occurs, and we will do all we can to bring it to an end.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have contributed to the successful passage of this legislation. I also salute those nongovernmental organizations active in the cause of human rights, who encouraged congressional passage of this Act and who work tirelessly to keep alive the spirit of human rights, in our hearts and in our domestic and foreign policy.


The White House, October 30, 1998.

NOTE: H.R. 4309, approved October 30, was assigned Public Law No. 105-320.

William J. Clinton, Statement on Signing the Torture Victims Relief Act of 1998 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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