Torture (from the Latin tortus, “twisted”) is the act of deliberately inflicting physical or psychological pain on anorganism in order to fulfill some desire of the torturer or compel some action from the victim. Torture, by definition, is a knowing and intentional act; deeds which unknowingly or negligently inflict pain without a specific intent to do so are not typically considered torture.
Torture has been carried out or sanctioned by individuals, groups, and states throughout history from ancient times to modern day, and forms of torture can vary greatly in duration from only a few minutes to several days or longer. Reasons for torture can include punishment, revenge, political re-education, deterrence, interrogation orcoercion of the victim or a third party, or simply the sadistic gratification of those carrying out or observing the torture. The torturer may or may not intend to kill or injure the victim, but sometimes torture is deliberately fatal and can precede a murder or serve as a form of capital punishment. In other cases, the torturer may be indifferent to the condition of the victim. Alternatively, some forms of torture are designed to inflict psychological pain or leave as little physical injury or evidence as possible while achieving the same psychological devastation. Depending on the aim, even a form of torture that is intentionally fatal may be prolonged to allow the victim to suffer as long as possible (such as half-hanging).
Although torture is sanctioned by some states, it is prohibited under international law and the domestic laws of most countries. Although widely illegal and reviled there is an ongoing debate as to what exactly is and is not legally defined to be torture. It is a serious violation of human rights, and is declared to be unacceptable (but not illegal) by Article 5 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Signatories of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols I and II of 8 June 1977 officially agree not to torture captured persons in armed conflicts, whether international or internal. Torture is also prohibited for the signatories of the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which has been ratified by 158 countries.
National and international legal prohibitions on torture derive from a consensus that torture and similar ill-treatment are immoral, as well as impractical. Despite these international conventions, organizations that monitor abuses of human rights (e.g., Amnesty International, the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, Freedom from Torture, etc.) report widespread use condoned by states in many regions of the world. Amnesty International estimates that at least 81 world governments currently practice torture, some of them openly. Historically, in those countries where torture was legally supported and officially condoned, wealthy patrons sponsored the creation of extraordinarily ingenious devices and techniques of torture.
Xeni Jardin (@xeni) tweeted at 5:18 AM – 20 Sep 2016 :
Survivors of the CIA’s ‘torture decade’ tell their stories. America paid for it, and it was done in our namehttps://t.co/rvBgQ9Zbu7 (http://twitter.com/xeni/status/778191492577886208?s=17)
One last point on Syria: US often cooperated with Assad as part of WoT, including rendering people for torture theguardian.com/commentisfree/
How U.S. Torture Left Legacy of Damaged Minds
via fb share by Brian Knappenberger
At least half of the 39 people who went through the C.I.A.’s “enhanced interrogation” program, which included depriving them of sleep, dousing them with ice water, slamming them into walls and locking them in coffin-like boxes, have since shown psychiatric problems
They returned to their families deeply scarred from interrogations, isolation and the shame of sexual taunts, forced nudity, aggressive body cavity searches and being kept in diapers.
If the United States could make men helpless, the thinking went, they would give up their secrets.
In the end, Justice Department lawyers concluded that the methods did not constitute torture, which is illegal under American and international law. In a series of memos, they wrote that no evidence existed that “significant psychological harm of significant duration, e.g., lasting for months or even years” would result.
Many of those men were later released without charges, unsure of why they were held. About one in four prisoners should never have been captured, or turned out to have been misidentified by the C.I.A., Senate investigators concluded. Khaled el-Masri, a German citizen, is the best known case.
It has been difficult to determine the scale of mental health problems at Guantánamo, much less how many cases are linked to the treatment the prisoners endured. Most medical records remain classified. Anecdotal accounts, though, have emerged over the years.
honan square – guantánamo of chicago..? http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/24/chicago-police-detain-americans-black-site
short documentary by Brian Knappenberger ‘The Case Against Torture’ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/20/opinion/the-case-against-torture.html
evolution of a criminal – Darius Clark Monroe
so much to add here..
Ruth Blakeley (@ruthblakeley) tweeted at 7:22 AM on Mon, Nov 07, 2016:
Brilliant journalism by @JasonLeopold – CIA officially reveals who designed its post-9/11 torture programhttps://t.co/vPGvATxflN
Moazzam Begg on internment et al
(aka: torture because we fear terror)
Majed Iqbal (@Majedsblog) tweeted at 7:36 PM – 1 Jun 2017 :
Thought provoking article by @Moazzam_Begg from @UK_CAGE
After the Manchester attack, there have been increased calls in Britain for a French-style state of emergency, the introduction of martial law and even internment. But history proves this will only make matters worse
Most people are aware that the UK has been complicit in the imprisonment without trial of its own citizens in the case of the Guantanamo prisoners. What they may be less aware of is that, contrary to popular belief, it has been involved in interning terror suspects without trial since the outset of the “war on terror”.
The untold truth is that the same coalition has been bombing Iraq continuously since 1991 and has never stopped. That’s a 26-year long transcontinental bombing campaign.
Our leaders tell us repeatedly that there can be no justification for the killing of children – under any circumstances whatsoever. Most of us could not agree more. But how can they explain away the fact that coalition air strikes in Syria alone have killed almost 1,500 civilians including 319 children since 2014. Forty-four of those children were killed in the past month. Clearly, we’re being lied to.
The youth speak out
Salman Abedi’s sister, Jomana, recently told US media: “I think he [Salman] saw children – Muslim children – dying everywhere, and wanted revenge.”
“But this sickness has developed as a direct result of indiscriminate killing of faceless terrorist suspects and their families.
“It is time to stop this cycle of uncontrolled rage and internecine violence that will only drive us to the pits of hell. Incessant calls for revenge each time need to be tempered with reflections on the consequences of what that means. There are no winners in this.”
There were 22 fatalities in the Manchester attack, seven of whom were children. The family of one of them, Georgina Callander, said: “I wish I could say that Georgina is one of the last to die in this way but unless our government opens its eyes we know we are only another in a long line of parents on a list that continues to grow.” Such voices can no longer be ignored.