Problem

Torture

Other Names:
Dependence on torture
Nature:

Torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him (or from a third person) information or confession, punishing him for an act he has committed, intimidating him or other persons, or as a source of pleasure to the torturer. The methods of torture include: electric shocks; beatings, especially in sensitive areas of the body; hanging prisoners upside down; threats against the families of prisoners; deprivation of food and sleep for days; singeing with cigarettes; administration of psychoactive, curare-like, sulphur and other drugs, etc. Instances of death under torture are known. For many victims surviving the torture has not necessarily meant a blessing. Physically maimed or psychologically shattered, these people are unable to lead a normal life. Deafness, loss of speech and brain damage are among the injuries that have been sustained.

Incidence:

Rarely before in history has torture been of such widespread use. Torture has become a common instrument of state policy practised against almost anyone that ruling cliques see as a threat to their power. Latin America is the continent where torture is still most systematically practised by officials for political reasons. Caning and flogging and in a few countries amputations are inflicted as court-ordered punishments on common criminals. In Turkey, political prisoners are only a small minority of those who suffer torture. Baljit Singh was blinded by the police in Bihar, India in 1980; 36 suspected criminals suffered the same fate. It is estimated that two thirds of the world's governments have recently tortured or cruelly treated their political or non-political detainees.

Torture may be of a political or quasi-legal nature or of a purely personal nature where the victims may be animals, plants, members of the torturer's family or friends or other individuals. Both categories of torture hold a personal element, but the former, being institutionalized, is more widespread and devastating in its effect.

Broader Problems:
Badness
Aggravates:
Injuries
Atrocities
Strategies:
Using torture
Problem Type:
C: Cross-sectoral problems
Date of last update
10.04.2019 – 13:10 CEST