Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment". Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights asserts: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment". In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation. In spite of these and national laws with similar guarantees, men, women and children are tortured, imprisoned, murdered and humiliated at the whim of officials in the majority of nations across the world.
Islamic law provides for retribution or gisas, allowing murderers to be executed in the same manner as they had killed their victims. The law also provides for mutilation or flogging in the case of certain crimes. In 1994 a senior UN human rights official was accused of blasphemy for drawing attention to the inconsistency between these practices and various human rights conventions accepted by Sudan.