About TortureWhat is Torture?
The aim of any form of torture is to break down the personality and to destroy the identity of the victims. Torture is always induced deliberately, it is always linked to both physical and psychological pain, the victims are unprepared, and the inflicted pain is acute and chronic. Torture always creates continuing after-effects in the victim, but these after-effects are normal reactions by normal persons to a pervert, cruel, abnormal act, and most importantly, can be treated and the victims rehabilitated.
All over the world, the methods of torture are the same, the aim is the same, the after-effects are the same, and the treatment is the same (taking cultural aspects into consideration).
Methods of torture
Methods include both physical and psychological forms, such as:
Physical: Beating, whipping, burning, rape, suspension upside down, submersion into water almost to the point of suffocation, electric torture with shocks of high voltage on various parts of the body, very often the genitals
Psychological: Threats, deceit, humiliation, insults
Complications (sequelae) from the torture
Physical and neurological sequelae include soreness of wounds, painful scars, stiffness of limbs and muscles, atrophy and paralysis of muscles, hearing and vision loss, persistent headaches, etc.
In addition to the physical wounds, torture victims suffer from psychological symptoms such as feelings of anxiety, guilt and shame, powerlessness in relation to the problems of everyday life, problems with concentration, poor sleep with frequent nightmares, impotence, etc.
Who uses torture?
Torture is used as an instrument of power. The use of systematic and government sanctioned torture can be related to four different contexts:
Torture is often used in dictatorships and by authoritarian regimes as a way to create general anxiety in society and suppress the opposition, e.g. those who work for democratic development.
In armed conflicts torture of enemies (both soldiers and civilians) is used as a strategic means to expand power and territory and to suppress opposition and national minority groups.
In new democracies torture appears to be a practice remnant from authoritarian regimes, and a means of individual power abuse by military or law enforcement personnel.
Torture may be used as a lawful sanction.
Who are the torture victims?
Torture is primarily aimed at strong personalities such as leaders of ethnic minorities, human rights fighters, union members, politicians, student leaders, and journalists, very often individuals (or even entire communities) who protest against harsh living conditions.