Aquinas Scholars presents symposium on 'Torture Experienced' Thursday

  Orlando Tizon, right, speaks out against torture.

Aquinas Scholars presents symposium on 'Torture Experienced' Thursday

Aquinas Scholars will host a symposium, "Torture Experienced," at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 10, in the John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts auditorium, Room 126.

As the title suggests, this symposium, open to the public, will feature two speakers on the topic of torture. Though both are speaking on this topic, their approaches differ greatly.

William Cavanaugh

The first speaker is Dr. William Cavanaugh of the St. Thomas Theology Department. His presentation, "A Tortured God: Christian Responses to Torture in the Contemporary World," reflects his areas of expertise in political theology and social ethics. Cavanaugh will analyze the strategies of torture and compare and contrast torture in the Chilean and U.S. contexts. He also will speak about the Christian response to torture, a subject on which he has written many articles and books.

The second speaker, Orlando Tizon, is originally from the Philippines and now lives in Washington, D.C. He is a torture survivor of the regime of President Marcos on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines.

Arrested in September 1982 while working as a community organizer and educator for the rural poor, Tizon was not released from prison until April 1986. During the first three weeks of his imprisonment, he was blindfolded and prevented from communicating with anyone. Throughout his nearly four years of imprisonment, he experienced beatings, interrogations, mock executions and solitary confinement.

Tizon now works as a staff member for Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC) in Washington, D.C. There he works with issues such as torture and political violence, race and ethnic relations, immigrants and refugees, and human rights.