From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Torture is defined by the United Nations Convention Against Torture as "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity." In addition to state sponsored torture, individuals or groups may also inflict torture on others for similar reasons, however, the motive for torture can also be for the sadistic gratification of the torturer, as was the case in the Moors Murders.
The universal legal prohibition is based on a universal philosophical consensus that torture and ill-treatment are repugnant, abhorrent, and immoral. A further moral definition of torture proposes that the sin of torture consists in the disproportionate infliction of pain.
These international conventions and philosophical propositions not withstanding, organizations such as Amnesty International that monitor abuses of human rights report that the use of torture condoned by states is widespread in many regions of the world.
- Civil rights
- Death by a Thousand Cuts
- Enhanced interrogation techniques
- International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims
- Physicians for Human Rights
- Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims
- Torture trade
- Torture (journal)
- UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
- World Organisation Against Torture
- Human Rights
- Political violence
- Capital punishment
- Police brutality