Nicholas Mercer to speak at Durham University

This year’s Irvine Lecture on Human Rights is to be given by Nicholas Mercer and titled Human Rights on the Battlefield.  When Command Legal Advisor for the HQ 1st (UK) Armoured Division during the Iraq war in 2003 he reported to the relevant military authorities that detainees were being seriously mistreated by UK troops, but was not satisfied that effective action was taken to stop such illegal treatment. As a result of his stand against the inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners of war in Iraq he has received a number of awards.  There will be a question and answer session after the lecture. Date: Friday 15th March Time 18.00 to 19.00 Place: Hogan Lovells Lecture theatre (PLC048) Law School, Durham University, Stockton Road, Durham DH1 3LE  Book at  This an unusual opportunity to hear an ex-military lawyer with direct experience of trying to reduce illegal practices. If you live within reach of Durham do consider coming. Some of us are planning to be there.  Please introduce yourself.

Protest at the Arms Fair (Defence and Security Equipment International)
We plan a Q-CAT presence in September as part of what is hoped to be a big Quaker turnout supporting national efforts to close down the Fair.  This takes place every two years and brings all the biggest arms companies to East London.

Q-CAT’s particular angle is protesting against UK companies selling equipment which can be used for torture. A number of us were part of the action in September 2017 and we would like to involve even more of our supporters this time. Our slogan would be UK must not sell tools for torture.

The Fair runs from 10th – 13th September.  Details of the protest are not yet available but it will probably be in the week beginning 2nd September.  Will you join us?

See also

Cycle Against Torture 2019

There are still places for cyclists available on the Freedom from Torture Cycle Against Torture taking place in July 2019.  This is happening in relays from Hastings to Edinburgh.  There are also opportunities to help on the way and thus show Q-CAT support. Barbara Forbes, one of our Trustees will be helping to coordinate the three days in Birmingham but it would be good if Friends in the other stopping points could be involved and could help to promote Q-CAT. Although it is fund-raising for FFT, the organisers are also keen to include us! Website:  Queries can be directed to

Q-CAT at Britain Yearly Meeting
We will be holding a session on Saturday 25th May at 12.30 and hope some of you will come and join us. We hope this will be a chance to discuss together Q-CAT’s work and particularly how to help Quakers, especially those who are reluctant to engage with the topic, to become more involved

Feeding the Darkness

We are delighted to promote our especially commissioned production of Feeding the Darkness, a 65 minute immersive performance that challenges ignorance and avoidance of the subject of torture.

Journeyman Theatre is now taking this production around the country following its premier at the yearly meeting of Quakers in Britain in May 2016.  Find out more about on this on

See also on this site Newsletter No 24 and article from the Friend 29th July 2016.

Q-CAT Workshop Quakers and Torture 10 Questions to get us thinking

This is available to be held at Quaker meetings and can be tailored to your requirements.  If you are interested in this for your meeting please email