Torture and other hideous acts contrary to human rights have been around from the earliest records of mankind. There is no one country that can claim responsibility for conceptualizing and implementing any of these inhumane treatments because where there is war or disagreement, there is battalion of warfare. Torture has been a part of that arsenal.
It is because of these past horrors, that the United Nations started the ball rolling against torture in the mid-to-late 70s. The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment (The Torture Convention) was adopted in 1984, which became the first confirmed and binding agreement toward eradicating torture.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to monitor tortuous acts on a local level, let alone on a global scale. However, the efforts by all participating nations to put an end to torture are supposedly being made. Although some of the most damaging acts of torture have been performed by our country’s own CIA, there is a newer demand for transparency that will help its standards evolve.
As many people would agree, torture techniques are much scarier than a quick death. The terror that accompanies the suggestion of torture is one of its worse aspects. We deplore the concept and would like you to check out ten of the most horrendous things that some prisoners around the globe have faced.
10. MK Ultra Testing – Forced LSD Trips
Steve Jobs once said that LSD changed his life in a good way – so for some, genius is born. However, when the recipient of a hallucinogen is unaware that it has been administered and in an unconscionable dose, it is clearly torture. There are other drugs that are used to gain information from prisoners, such as mescaline (like LSD), scopolamine (truth serum) and amphetamines – each of them capable of killing its victim. What generally takes place is the prisoner is locked in a sensory deprivation room with no way out and no one to help, thereby exponentially increasing the drugs’ effects.
According to a story in the newyorker.com, it was reported that the U.S. Army was using LSD as an enhanced-interrogation technique, presented as clinical experiments at the Edgewood Arsenal. There are several reports of LSD used for torture and interrogation, another coming from infowars.com discussing the details of the CIA MKUltra testing for mind control in the mid-1900s.
9. Sleep Deprivation
Many people don’t realize that a person can die if they go without sleep for 14 days. It would not actually take that long for some people, but on average that is what you can expect. That fact is not why it is considered torture, as it is rare that these extreme conditions are executed.
A report released by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, highlighted the CIA’s interrogation program (post-911) discussed their use of sleep deprivation. According to Psychology Today, “prolonged sleep deprivation is an especially hideous form of torture because it attacks the deep biological functions at the core of a person’s mental and physical health. It is less overtly violent than cutting off someone’s finger, but it can be far more damaging and painful if pushed to extremes.”
Everyone understands that male prisoners often endure sodomy. When it comes to sodomy and torture, it is clearly not something anyone wants. There have been many reports of prisoners being sodomized with baseball bats, guns and other deliberately torturous objects. In 2002, it was reported that the CIA detained and sodomized a German citizen for four months before they realized they had the wrong man. The report in costsofwar.org stated that they kept this man for an additional five months and then let him out on a road in Albania with nothing.
7. Beaten Without Cause
Many of us often question whether prison guards stick to treating inmates ethically, even when conditions in the prison go awry. We know that many prisoners lose their lives while serving time, for reasons that are ‘unknown’ and many of these deaths and injuries are now known to be caused by the guards.
Even in lesser correctional institutions, inmates know better than to get on the wrong side of a guard for fear of their freedom and privileges being withdrawn. A man or woman correctional employee or guard may assume that they can get away with just about anything, as their audience is literally captive. In 2013, a video was released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation showing inmate Kelvin Stevenson being beaten with a hammer by Georgian Prison guards.
6. Involuntary Fight Clubs
The incidence of mandatory fight clubs was said to have been a primary form of entertainment for the guards in one (unnamed) Pennsylvania prison, yet it is much more common than most people realize. In a story by the New York Post, Rikers Island is one of the most brutal prisons around. It is there they have what is called, The Program – where the youngest prisoners are forced into deadly fighting. The guards allow it because it keeps everyone in check, or so the reports say. There always seems to be a “good reason” for torture.
5. Barely Edible Food
The Huffington Post ran a story about prison food that confirms it is awful but that if you require Kosher food, it might actually be edible. Food as torture is another story, and as you can imagine could be as bad or worse than other select methods. According to a report on CNN, the North Koreans will feed prisoners grass. A report in npr.org refers to Nutraloaf also called ‘the loaf’, which is said to be so bad that prisoners actually get served this food as torture and punishment, most are unable to eat it and civil rights activists have been trying to remove this item from prisons.
4. White Noise and Sound Torture
Most everyone has experienced aggravation when a consistent noise can not be controlled or turned off. Loud base reverberations roaring through traffic or the neighbor with their stereo turned up to peak volume can be completely annoying. So think of that times 100, as sound torture is a reality. Some forms of this method come from boom boxes that are cranked up in the middle of the night and left on for hours on end, while others are forced to wear earphones and masks along with bound hands and feet, never knowing when it will end.
Interestingly, the international laws don’t cover maximum decibel levels, but the CIA feels good about their “not-to-exceed 79 decibel” level, as OSHA has determined that permanent hearing damage will not be the result even if forced to listen for 24-hours straight. According a story in motherboard.com, loud music “appears 17 times in the recently declassified executive summary of a CIA torture report.
3. Rectal Feeding
This torture is intended to be in the prisoners best interest. When they get to the point where they refuse to eat, drink or both, the extreme measure of rectal feeding is used. Just like in hospitals, nutrients could be delivered through intravenous and tube methods. The CIA and other captors will use this method to demonstrate control over the prisoner. It is unlikely that this method actually gives the prisoner any health benefits. A report in theguardian.com cites the CIA as even performing this method with a puree of humus, pasta, sauce, nuts and raisins. This could only be considered torture from our vantage point.
2. Frozen to Death
Used by many nationalities, torture by freezing is a very painful way to come as close to death as the captors desire. It is conducted in a variety of ways, none of them pretty. Some prisoners might be taken outside without clothing in the dead of winter and be forced to stand in one place on ice or snow. Others are tormented when their naked bodies are wrapped in ice for a lengthy period of time.
Waterboarding is a form of drowning someone temporarily in an attempt to get them to come forward with information. In a quote from the Senate panel regarding Abu Zubaydah, suspected terrorist and right-hand to Bin Laden, “The waterboarding technique was physically harmful, inducing convulsions and vomiting until completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open, full mouth.”
According to a report on NBC News, in 2003, the Senate uncovered an email regarding prison officials determination to use the waterboarding technique on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed at the secret Detention Site Blue jail. Evidently, Mohammed was subject to 183 of these treatments over one month. He was also victim to rectal feeding, also known as rectal rehydration. Mohammed, who was chained to a chair nude finally died from this treatment. The CIA made a statement claiming that lesser-trained interrogators were responsible.
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