Human Torture is Wrong

Human Torture is Wrong

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Since the beginning of mankind every individual has been subjected to torture at one point of time in his/her life be it physical or mental torture. There is a lot of pain and suffering in this world but to inflict it on purpose on another is something that most people would agree is wrong. The term torture refers to violence against the physical and mental integrity of the individual (Santini, 1987). Torture has been a part of our society for thousands of years in many different forms but as society progresses we must look at whether or not it is justified. This paper will show you the history of torture and the reasons why the practice of torture is not justified.
Torture as a word has a negative connotation so is threatening to most people. Under threat of torture many people do and say things, which they would never do otherwise. This has lead to torture being used by many intelligence agencies around the world as a way of gathering information. At times this information has helped stop heinous acts and protect society but at what cost? Many people have confessed to acts, which they had no involvement in because they were forced by torture. A good example of this is the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. “Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani 43-year-old mother of two in the Iran sentenced to death for adultery. She was sentenced to death by stoning, in accordance with Iran’s Islamic Sharia law. She had already been given 99 lashes.She made a confession under "duress," which is to say torture that she later retracted. The decreed method of execution was fairly specific: She was to be buried up to her neck and pelted with small rocks--not big ones, small ones--until she died.” She was tortured to confess the adultery and involvement in killing her husband on one of the Iranian television program. She was tortured for two days prior to that interview on television. She was forced to make such confession and that was not reliable evidence. Recently her son Sajad and lawyer have been arrested for appealing for the release of her mother. Both son and mother have been torture to confess. The authorities of Iran were trying to justify a death sentence, which cannot be justified on the bases of Iranian law and international standard. Miss Ashtiani later had her execution called off for the moment but this practice continues in Iran.

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On the other hand, stoning is not a gendered punishment; the law stipulates that adulterous men face the same brutal end. But because Iranian law permits polygamy, it in fact offers men an escape method. They are able to claim that their adulterous relationship was, in fact, a temporary marriage (Iranian law recognizes "marriages" of even a few hours duration between men and single women). Men typically exploit this escape clause, and are rarely sentenced to stoning. But married women accused of adultery have no access to such reprieve. Other examples of Other Iranian methods of torture to the victims are treatment included routine beatings to the body using a variety of tools such as cables, hosepipes and metal rods. Detainees reported kicking, slapping and punching; prolonged suspension from the wrists with the hands tied behind the back; electric shocks to sensitive parts of the body, including the earlobes and genitals; and being kept blindfolded and/or handcuffed continuously for several days. In several cases, the detainees suffered what may be permanent physical disability.
Most people know that Iran has been using such practices for many years but the practice is also employed in developed countries like our own. A fine example of this is Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, suspected terrorists are sent to GITMO and subjected to many different forms of torture. President Obama recently announced his intention to close the prison but has had to retract the planed closure. After the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attack to the US, Pres. Bush wages an all out war against the terrorists. That's when the human rights trouble started. Mr. Bush and Dick Cheney decided that in their war on terror they would not hesitate to fight dirty. And, while the American leadership was making these massive strategic blunders it was also setting up a secret dirty war against those it imagined were its enemies. The U.S. military did not consider its prisoners to be suspects, but terrorists with no rights. A naval base was set up and a military force was permanently stationed there. When American forces started capturing characters they thought were suspicious in Afghanistan they were shipped out to Guantanamo Bay. Bush said that the detainees were "enemy combatants." Many of the men in Gitmo were subjected to what was called "enhanced interrogation methods." This included sleep deprivation, being made to stand naked in a cold cell for long periods, slapping with an open hand, and a nasty little procedure known as "waterboarding." It is a form of torture in which water is poured over the face of an immobilized captive, causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning. The Americans and British also initially used Waterboarding and forced standing. Torture, in which water is poured over the face of an immobilized detainee, causing the person to experience the sensation of drowning and forced standing. The screams of tormented women in panic and desperation who cry for God's mercy fall upon the deaf ears of prison authorities. They are confined to narrow cells with no sunlight called "drawers" that have cement beds, a hole on the ground for their bodily needs, and are infected with a massive amount of rodents, roaches, and other insects. In these "drawers" the women remain weeks and months. When they scream in terror due to the darkness (blackouts are common) and the heat, they are injected sedatives that keep them half-drugged.
Torture can existing itself in numerous forms, one instance is Post Traumatic stress disorder called PTSD. Specific populations seem to be particularly at risk for developing PTSD, including survivors of rape and military combat. While research has established events, such as combat, torture, incarceration, assault, and life-threatening accidents may lead to symptoms of PTSD, debate remains among researchers regarding the best characterization of the type of traumatic event that warrants a diagnosis of PTSD.
Traumatic event like violence or torture may cause PTSD symptoms. For example, research indicates that people who have been exposed to an extreme stressor sometimes have a smaller hippocampus (part of the brain that plays a role in memory) than people who have not been exposed to trauma. This is important in understanding the effects of trauma in common and the influence of PTSD, specifically since the hippocampus is the part of the brain that is thought to have an important role in making new memories about life experiences. Some clinical symptoms of post-traumatic stress-disorder are loss of concentration and lose of memory, panic attacks, and repeated nightmares reproducing events experienced during detention. Victims going through mental torture can experience psychological effects including sleep disturbances with frequent nightmares, chronic anxiety, depression, memory defects, loss of concentration, and change in self- perception) which is well documented in research and clinical practice (Basoglu, Jaranson, Mollica, & Kastrup, 2001). Dr. Metin Basoglu of King's College London and the Istanbul Centre for Behaviour Research and Therapy examined the psychological impact of war captivity, physical torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. It has been brought to light that the victims of human brutality are often regarded apprehensively by the health care professionals and are hesitant to confront this reality in their clinical work and try to avoid addressing the torture-related symptoms of illness as they believe that they will not have the tools nor the time to help these victims once they have told their story. As a result, survivors and clinicians try to avoid all discussion of the trauma, which is not good, as the most effective care for torture survivors must begin with awareness.

Torture has existed ever since the world came in to existence as slaves were being tortured in the old days and many died because the pain was too much to bear. The reason of mine to state this is that if the world was at peace none of these horrific actions would have to be taking place. Article 5 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment." This provision has become part of international law, which means that they are binding on all states, regardless of whether the state is a party to the specific universal or regional instrument.It has been considered as immoral, unethical and totally unacceptable throughout time but continues to be used in many different forms. At this time new forms are also being developed and some argue that torture is a necessary evil that society must accept in order to protect the greater good. Not everyone accepts this and On February 4, 1985, the convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment was opened for signature at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Many countries have signed this document but not all. Most people would tell you that torture is not justified but as we have seen it is still used.

Work Citation

Veer, Guus van der. Counselling and Therapy With Refugees and Victims of Trauma : Psychological Problems of Victims of War, Torture, and Repression, Chichester ; New York John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. (UK), 1998.

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