Torture

torturedtorturingtorture devicetorturerphysical torturetorturousphysicaltorturesinstruments of torturetorment
Torture (from Latin tortus: to twist, to torment) is the act of deliberately inflicting severe physical or psychological suffering on someone by another as a punishment or in order to fulfill some desire of the torturer or force some action from the victim.wikipedia
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Psychological torture

psychologicalpsychological painpsychologically abused
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.
Psychological torture is a type of torture that relies primarily on psychological effects, and only secondarily on any physical harm inflicted.

Interrogation

interrogatedinterrogatorinterrogate
Reasons for torture can include punishment, revenge, extortion, persuasion, political re-education, deterrence, coercion of the victim or a third party, interrogation to extract information or a confession irrespective of whether it is false, or simply the sadistic gratification of those carrying out or observing the torture.
Interrogation may involve a diverse array of techniques, ranging from developing a rapport with the subject to outright torture.

International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims

International Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture VictimsInternational Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT)NSW Service for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors
Despite these findings and 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.
The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), is an independent, international health professional organization that promotes and supports the rehabilitation of torture victims and works for the prevention of torture worldwide.

Amnesty International

AmnestyAmnesty International UKAmnesty International Norway
Despite these findings and 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.
The organization was awarded the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize for its "defence of human dignity against torture," and the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights in 1978.

Half-hanging

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).
Half-hanging is a method of torture, usually inflicted to force information from the victim, in which a rope is pulled tightly around the victim’s neck and then slackened when the victim becomes unconscious.

Freedom from Torture

Medical FoundationMedical Foundation for Care of Victims of TortureMedical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture
Despite these findings and 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.
Freedom from Torture (previously known as The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture) is a British registered charity which provides therapeutic care for survivors of torture who seek protection in the UK.

Hooding

hoodedhood
In Ireland v. United Kingdom (1979–1980) the ECHR ruled that the five techniques developed by the United Kingdom (wall-standing, hooding, subjection to noise, deprivation of sleep, and deprivation of food and drink), as used against fourteen detainees in Northern Ireland by the United Kingdom were "inhuman and degrading" and breached the European Convention on Human Rights, but did not amount to "torture".
Hooding is widely considered to be a form of torture, one legal scholar considers the hooding of prisoners to be a violation of international law, specifically the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions, which demand that persons under custody or physical control of enemy forces be treated humanely.

False confession

false confessionsfalsely confessedcoerced confessions
Reasons for torture can include punishment, revenge, extortion, persuasion, political re-education, deterrence, coercion of the victim or a third party, interrogation to extract information or a confession irrespective of whether it is false, or simply the sadistic gratification of those carrying out or observing the torture.
Bahraini authorities refused for more than two years to investigate complaints regarding the torture of Mohamed Ramadan—a father-of-three on death row who was tortured into making a false confession.

Starvation

starvedstarvingstarve
In Ireland v. United Kingdom (1979–1980) the ECHR ruled that the five techniques developed by the United Kingdom (wall-standing, hooding, subjection to noise, deprivation of sleep, and deprivation of food and drink), as used against fourteen detainees in Northern Ireland by the United Kingdom were "inhuman and degrading" and breached the European Convention on Human Rights, but did not amount to "torture".
Starvation may also be used as a means of torture or execution.

Coercion

duresscoercivecoerced
Reasons for torture can include punishment, revenge, extortion, persuasion, political re-education, deterrence, coercion of the victim or a third party, interrogation to extract information or a confession irrespective of whether it is false, or simply the sadistic gratification of those carrying out or observing the torture.
These actions may include extortion, blackmail, torture, threats to induce favors, or even sexual assault.

Declaration of Tokyo

Declaration of Tokyo (1975)
An even broader definition was used in the 1975 Declaration of Tokyo regarding the participation of medical professionals in acts of torture:
The Declaration of Tokyo is a set of international guidelines for physicians concerning torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in relation to detention and imprisonment, which was adopted in October 1975 during the 29th General assembly of the World Medical Association, and later editorially updated by the WMA in France, May 2005 and 2006.

Boot (torture)

bootthe bootboots
A wide array of "boots"—-machines designed to slowly crush feet—-are representative.
The term boot refers to a family of instruments of torture and interrogation variously designed to cause crushing injuries to the foot and/or leg.

Foot roasting

The serrated iron tongue shredder; the red-hot copper basin for destroying eyesight (abacination, q.v.); and the stocks that forcibly held the prisoner's naked feet, glistening with lard, directly over red-hot coals (foot roasting, q.v.) until the skin and foot muscles were burnt black and the bones fell to ashes are examples of torture in the third degree.
Foot roasting is a method of torture used since ancient times.

Rack (torture)

rackrackedthe rack
For example, the confession of Marc Smeaton at the trial of Anne Boleyn was presented in written form only, either to hide from the court that Smeaton had been tortured on the rack for four hours, or because Thomas Cromwell was worried that he would recant his confession if cross-examined.
The rack is a torture device consisting of a rectangular, usually wooden frame, slightly raised from the ground, with a roller at one or both ends.

Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture

Inter-American Convention
The Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture, which is in force since 28 February 1987, defines torture more expansively than the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
The Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture (IACPPT) is an international human rights instrument, created in 1985 within the Western Hemisphere Organization of American States and intended to prevent torture and other similar activities.

Iron chair

Specific devices were also created and used during this time, including the rack, the Pear (also mentioned in Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1811) as "Choak [sic.] Pears," and described as being "formerly used in Holland."), thumbscrews, animals like rats, the iron chair, and the cat o nine tails.
The Iron Chair is a torture device that has several different variations depending on its origin and use throughout history.

Foot whipping

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The most prevalent modern example is bastinado, a technique of beating or whipping the soles of the bare feet.
As it causes a high level of suffering for the victim and physical evidence remains largely undetectable after some time, it is frequently used for interrogation and torture.

Peine forte et dure

peine fort et durepressingpressed
Torture was abolished in England around 1640 (except peine forte et dure, which was abolished in 1772).
Peine forte et dure (Law French for "hard and forceful punishment") was a method of torture formerly used in the common law legal system, in which a defendant who refused to plead ("stood mute") would be subjected to having heavier and heavier stones placed upon his or her chest until a plea was entered, or they died.

Anton Praetorius

In 1613, Anton Praetorius described the situation of the prisoners in the dungeons in his book Gründlicher Bericht Von Zauberey und Zauberern (Thorough Report about Sorcery and Sorcerers).
Anton Praetorius (1560 – 6 December 1613) was a German Calvinist pastor who spoke out against the persecution of witches (witchhunts, witchcraft trials) and against torture.

United Nations Convention against Torture

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or PunishmentConvention Against TortureCommittee Against Torture
Torture is also prohibited for the signatories of the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which has 163 state parties.
The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (commonly known as the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT)) is an international human rights treaty, under the review of the United Nations, that aims to prevent torture and other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment around the world.

Stress position

stress positionswall-standingcontorted positions
In Ireland v. United Kingdom (1979–1980) the ECHR ruled that the five techniques developed by the United Kingdom (wall-standing, hooding, subjection to noise, deprivation of sleep, and deprivation of food and drink), as used against fourteen detainees in Northern Ireland by the United Kingdom were "inhuman and degrading" and breached the European Convention on Human Rights, but did not amount to "torture".
Forcing prisoners to adopt such positions is an enhanced interrogation technique (torture technique) used for extracting information.

Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse

Abu GhraibAbu Ghraib prisoner abuseAbu Ghraib scandal
Despite such international conventions, torture cases continue to arise such as the 2004 Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse scandal committed by personnel of the United States Army.
These violations included physical and sexual abuse, torture, rape, sodomy, and murder.

Customary international law

customaryinternational customary lawcustom
Its effect in practice is limited, however, as the Declaration is not ratified officially and does not have legally binding character in international law, but is rather considered part of customary international law.
Examples include various international crimes; a state violates customary international law if it permits or engages in slavery, torture, genocide, war of aggression, or crimes against humanity.

Stocks

village stocksstock endsAnkle/wrist stocks
In Colonial America, women were sentenced to the stocks with wooden clips on their tongues or subjected to the "dunking stool" for the gender-specific crime of talking too much.
Some consider the stocks an example of torture and cruel and unusual punishment.

Breaking wheel

broken on the wheelbreaking on the wheelCatherine wheel
Severe historical penalties include breaking wheel, boiling to death, flaying, slow slicing, disembowelment, crucifixion, impalement, crushing, stoning, execution by burning, dismemberment, sawing, decapitation, scaphism, or necklacing.
The breaking wheel or execution wheel, also known as the Catherine wheel or simply the Wheel, was a torture method used for public execution primarily in Europe from antiquity through Middle Ages into the early modern period by breaking a criminal's bones and/or bludgeoning them to death.