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June 27, 2002

Cheh ajab

VATICAN CITY, June 27, 2002 (Reuters) - The Vatican, which abandoned torture after the Inquisition centuries ago, on Wednesday ratified the United Nations convention against the practice.

The Vatican, a 108-acre sovereign state surrounded by Rome, said it timed its ratification of the convention to coincide with the U.N.'s day of solidarity with the victims of torture.

The Vatican said it signed the convention -- the 129th state to do so since it came into force in 1987 -- because it considered torture "cruel, inhuman and degrading" and a grave attack on the dignity of the person.

The Inquisition, a tribunal in which some heretics were tortured, was set up in 1233 and was in force until the late 15th century.

The Vatican office which deals with doctrinal orthodoxy, however, was known as the Inquisition until 1908.

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