Torture through sensory deprivation


Sensory deprivation is used to punish prisoners, create disorientation and break down resistance to questioning. Victims are subjected to nearly total deprivation of the senses. Prisoners are frequently blindfolded or have their heads placed in a hood sometimes for months. They are placed in cells without any light for periods over two years. They may be deprived of sleep for days causing mental breakdown. Some are wrapped in blankets and tied in order to prevent any movement. Often prisoners are fed food bland and tasteless; others are deprived of food and drink altogether for days at a time.


Torture through sensory deprivation has been reported in the following countries:

[Africa] Gabon, Kenya, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe

[America] Argentina, Colombia, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay

[Asia] Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Israel, Korea Rep, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan (Rep of China)

[Europe] Italy, UK

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No Poverty
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
17.10.2021 – 09:34 CEST