Remembering Peter Golden

We are profoundly saddened by the passing of Peter Golden, a co-founder and long-time board member of Victoria Coalition for Survivors of Torture.

For over thirty years, Peter served as a passionate, skilled lawyer in Victoria. He graduated from McGill Law School, and became a founding member of the Collaborative Family Law Group in Victoria BC.

With a specialization in immigration and refugee law, Peter was a steadfast advocate for human rights in the community and made a profound impact in the lives 

of many. He was a frequent speaker and panel-member in conferences both locally and internationally.  In addition to substantial professional and voluntary contributions in Canada, Peter travelled abroad to promote international

human rights, including his role as independent election observer in Mexico and El Salvador.

Peter’s contributions to VCST have been numerous and included his championing of the ‘VCST Medical Oversight Committee Proposal’ which aims to raise the international standard of practice related to torture and abuse.

Peter is remembered as an enthusiastic champion for social justice, a skilled and dedicated lawyer, and a reliable friend with a great sense of humour. He is loved by the community and will be deeply missed. Our most condolences to his family.


The VCST Family


Let’s Talk About Torture at the Canadian Bioethics Society Conference

screen shot of conference website with conferce dates (May 28th-31st) and location (Vancouver BC)

We’ve been accepted to deliver our workshop called “Let’s Talk About Torture: Exploring the Roles of Health Professionals and Ethicists in the Prevention of Torture.” at the 25th Annual Canadian Bioethics Society Conference happening in Vancouver, May 28th-31st.

Our session will be interactive and discussion based, drawing on Canadian case studies. It will be facilitated by board members, Sabine Lehr, Alvaro Moreno, Ken Agar-Newman and special guest, Jan Storch. For more information check out the conference agenda or website.


Excited to Support World Refugee Day!

How can we change the conversation about refugees and others seeking protection? Explore, be curious, learn and celebrate with us on World Refugee Day, June 20th.

We are working with an incredible group of people to organize a celebration for World Refugee Day in Victoria, Lekwungen Territory. We are planning a walk with stops to share stories about refugee experiences and resilience. If you’d like to get involved, like the Facebook Page or contact us and we can bring you into the loop.

More event info coming soon…

word cloud


Workshop Development Underway

Members of the VCST board and medical comunity in Victoria meet to work on an workshop

We started developing this workshop a month ago. We met up with the VCST board and medical professionals and began hashing out what will become a workshop for an upcoming bioethics conference. The working title for our workshop is, “Let’s Talk About Torture: Exploring the Roles of Health Professionals and Ethicists in the Prevention of Torture.”

We just applied for the conference, and don’t know if we will be presenting or not, yet, but conference or not, we this workshop will ready to be delivered to healthcare providers, and ethics nerds (aka, philosophy buffs) and also basically any community member that cares about the facts and impacts of torture on our community.

What we love about workshops is the quality of the learning environment. Professionals soak up material in a way that’s very different from reading journal articles. That’s partly why we make it part of our mission to be at conferences and engage with real humans.

Bush and Associates authorized torture

Source: Tribunal in Kuala Lumpur

“The third day of the Kuala Lumpur war crimes tribunal hearing saw the prosecution present its submission to establish that the accused parties are indeed guilty as charged for the Crime of Torture and Crimes Against Humanity. In the last two days, three witnesses namely Abbas Abid, Moazzam Begg and Jameelah Hameedi gave their testimony of the tortures they had faced during their incarceration. Two additional Statutory Declarations (Ali Shalal and Rhuhel Ahmed) were read out and submitted to the tribunal”

The Document:
Extempore Judgment War Crimes Tribunal (PDF)

Canada urged to arrest and prosecute George W. Bush due his involvement in the promulgation of torture

George Bush points into a crowd

The Victoria Coalition for the Survivors of Torture expresses our emphatic and full support for efforts to bring George W. Bush to a full and fair trial for torture.

We express our deep appreciation and solidarity with the CCIJ, Amnesty International, the CCR and all organizations that are struggling for justice in this profoundly disturbing situation.

CCR CCIJ Follow up Letter re George Bush Oct 2011 (PDF)

“You can chain me,
you can torture me,
you can even destroy this body,
but you will never imprison my mind.”

— Mohandas Gandhi