Tuesday, October 9, 2012

5 Banned Torture Methods

Torture has been defined in several ways and depending on the context in which this term is being used its definition ought to change. In any setting or form torture is considered to be an outright violation of human rights and is prohibited worldwide. Torture is used in domestic settings, law enforcing scenarios, and in international scenarios that include war or investigation. We will be discussing 5 banned torture methods but will keep in view that torture in all its forms is prohibited by virtue of human rights or by law in some countries.

This torture method was practiced particularly on African Americans 18th century – 1960s. In this brutal torture method the torture would not end until the subject was dead. A mob would start beating and mutilating a person they would call the accused and in most cases the police would release this subject to the mob for torturing. These accused were not given a trial and hence their punishment was extrajudicial. ‘Crimes’ varied from theft to sexual assault of a white female but there was never a trial so whether or not the accused was guilty was never determined. Bodies of these accused African Americans would then be hanged in public places. In some cases their limbs were severed.

Stun Belt
This device was used to confine and investigate prisoners in several confinement cells and prisons across US. This belt would deliver a 50,000 volt electric shock for 8 seconds to stun the receiver. Based on need this belt was placed on different parts of the body. To confine a prisoner it was put on a prisoner’s body and would deliver a shock on even the slightest of body movements. This torture device was introduced in US in early 90’s and by 1996 it was being used by US Bureau of Prisons. The same year Amnesty International filed a petition to ban use of this device and to stop its export.

Water Torture 
In this form of torture water is used as a weapon to disarm mentally or torture a person. Most commonly known form would be Chinese water torture and it is known to have originated in 15th or 16th century. Prisoners were strapped down in a position where they could see each drop coming down onto their forehead. The forehead is considered to be a very sensitive area of the body so it would constantly receive drops of water after equal intervals and it would drive the prisoner frantic. Although the physical pain of this form of torture may not be a lot but psychologically this torture form was considered to be lethal and would break even the toughest of men.

This torture form is known by many names some of these are flogging, lashing or whipping. This torture form is known to be one of the oldest forms of torture. The human body is tortured by constantly whipping or lashing and prisoners are then subjected to humiliation or other tortures to punish them or to make them confess. These torture forms were banned in Britain as early as 1948. At some time in history this method was also used as a disciplinary method to teach the simplest of lessons and discipline in military institutions.

Pau de arara
Portuguese slave traders were among the first men to have used this torture technique. When translated literally this term means parrot’s perch and looking into the torture method this method emphasizes on physical pain. This method was devised to inflict severe muscle and joint pain on disobedient slaves. Most recently this torture technique was recorded to have been used during Brazilian Military Dictatorship in 1960s and 1970s. Even today this technique is at times used by the Brazilian Police to handle mobs and disobedience

Source : http://www.blindloop.com


  1. the "pau de arau" or "parrot's perch" is a very cruel torture device that was also used in Turkey and Iraq


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