Human torture

Visualization of narrower problems
Denial of right to freedom from torture
In many countries torture is used as a judicial instrument for extracting evidence and confessions from the accused. Individuals may inflict pain on other individuals for reasons of pleasure or vengeance. Individual torture includes acts of juvenile delinquency, such as the terrorizing and beating up of old or infirm people by gangs or individuals, or, for instance, the burning or humiliation of other young people who are not members of the group. Torture may be inflicted by sadists in an advanced state of mental disorder, or by 'protection' gangs and other organized crime units. Mental torture and less sophisticated means of physical torture may be practised within families or within a group of friends; this kind of torture may have a sexual basis. Individual torture may also be entered into under the effect of hallucinogenic drugs.
Although torture was already explicitly prohibited in the [Universal Declaration of Human Rights] and in the [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights], there is now a world-wide legal conviction that the prohibition of torture belongs to the rule of [jus cogens], binding for each and every member of the international community, and that this prohibition is unconditional. Torture cannot be justified under any circumstances. But this general outlawry of torture has evidently not been sufficient to do away with this ignominious practice.
Human torture has been reported in the following countries:
1. Torture is one of the most heinous violations of human rights because it annihilates a person's most essential characteristic: their personality.

2. The majority of torture victims, even in countries beset by widespread civil conflict, have no security information about violent opposition groups to give away. They are tortured either to force confessions from them or as an acute message not to oppose the government. Even it torture could be shown to be efficient in some cases, it could simply never be permissible. From the point of view of the individual, torture, for whatever purpose, is a calculated assault on human dignity and for that reason alone is to be condemned absolutely. From the point of view of society, once justified and allowed for the narrower purpose of combating political violence, torture will almost inevitably be used for a wider range of purposes against an increasing proportion of the population. Just using torture once, almost invariably leads to its institutionalization and will erode the moral and legal principles that stand against a form of violence that could affect all of society. For the state, torture subverts a basic tenet of just punishment, a prescribed penalty for a proven offence. It destroys any amount of trust between citizens and rulers.

1. Though a disagreeable thing, torture has to be applied in select cases because there are hardened criminal who would not otherwise come out with the truth.

2. Governments are faced with a choice among priorities. If they are confronted with a vociferous opposition or with an armed insurgency the paramount priority would seem to be the stifling of that opposition and the crushing of the insurgency. Under such circumstances torture is easily used for the dual purpose of obtaining information and instilling terror. Torture becomes a political tool for the realization of the paramount priority, even though some other branch of a government may endorse the campaign against that practice.

(D) Detailed problems