Torture

 Torture is an atrocious violation of human dignity. It dehumanizes both the victim and the perpetrator. …. Freedom from torture is a fundamental human right that must be protected under all circumstances.

– Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-general

 Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, 1948) states “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”  Torture is defined in Article 1 of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT, Torture Convention, 1987) as “… any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person.” However, the international community lacks consensus as to which acts are prohibited under this definition, and torturers are rarely prosecuted due to legal obstacles and lack of political will.


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