Torture is the practice or act of deliberately inflicting severe physical pain and possibly injury on a person, though psychological and animal torture also exist. Torture has been carried out or sanctioned by individuals, groups and states throughout history from ancient times to modern day, and forms of torture can vary greatly in duration from only a few minutes to several days or even longer. Reasons for torture can include punishment, revenge, political re-education, deterrence, interrogation or coercion of the victim or a third party, or simply the sadistic gratification of those carrying out or observing the torture. The torturer may or may not intend to kill or injure the victim, but sometimes torture is deliberately fatal and can accompany forms of murder or capital punishment. The aim may also be to inflict pain but without causing fatal injury, or sometimes any injury at all. In other cases, the torturer may be indifferent to the condition of the victim. There is also torture that can be fatal eventually, but where attempts are made not to kill the victim quickly to prolong the length of time of the suffering.

Although historically torture was sanctioned by some states, torture in the 21st century is prohibited under international law and the domestic laws of most countries. It is considered to be a violation of human rights, and is declared to be unacceptable by Article 5 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Signatories of the Third Geneva Convention and Fourth Geneva Convention officially agree not to torture prisoners in armed conflicts. Torture is also prohibited by the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which has been ratified by 147 countries.

National and international legal prohibitions on torture derive from a consensus that torture and similar ill-treatment are immoral, as well as impractical. Despite these international conventions, organizations that monitor abuses of human rights (e.g. Amnesty International, the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims) report widespread use condoned by states in many regions of the world. Amnesty International estimates that at least 81 world governments currently practice torture, some of them openly.

Read more about Torture:  Definitions, History, Laws Against Torture, Use of Torture, Torture Methods and Devices, Torture Murder, Effects of Torture, Rehabilitation

Other articles related to "torture":

L'Hermitage Slave Village Archeological Site - Slavery
... the area in June 1798, recounting that he had been told of tyranny and torture at the plantation June 15 ... One can see on the home farm instruments of torture, stocks, wooden horses, whips, etc ... Two or three negroes crippled with torture have brought legal action.. ...
Torture - Rehabilitation - Broken Societies
... some instances, whole societies can be more or less traumatized where torture has been used in a systematic and widespread manner ... Providing psychosocial support and redress to survivors of torture and trauma can help reconstruct broken societies ... a symbol of triumph over the manmade terror of torture which can hold back the development of democracy of entire societies." ...
Stephen Soldz
... attention as a vocal critic regarding allegations of the use of psychological torture by the U.S ... at Guantanamo Bay of developing and applying torture techniques on detainees while advising interrogators on the levels of abuse that detainees could withstand ... In November 2007, Soldz coauthored an article on psychological torture at Guantanamo Bay with Julian Assange, published via WikiLeaks ...
Spyros Moustaklis
... and suffered permanent damage as the result of torture, making him a symbol of the anti-junta resistance ... arrested and tortured by the Greek Military Police in the torture chambers of EAT/ESA ... on 22 May 1973 and stayed at the EAT/ESA torture centre for 47 days, but despite the efforts of his interrogators, he did not betray his colleagues ...
Marange Diamond Fields - Government Crackdowns - Torture
... BBC, the British state broadcaster, claims Zimbabwe's security forces have a torture camp in the Marange diamond fields methods include severe beatings, sexual assault and dog mauling according to alleged victims ...

Famous quotes containing the word torture:

    I’m folding up my little dreams
    Within my heart tonight,
    And praying I may soon forget
    The torture of their sight.
    Georgia Douglas Johnson (1886–1966)

    Suffering is by no means a privilege, a sign of nobility, a reminder of God. Suffering is a fierce, bestial thing, commonplace, uncalled for, natural as air. It is intangible; no one can grasp it or fight against it; it dwells in time—is the same thing as time; if it comes in fits and starts, that is only so as to leave the sufferer more defenseless during the moments that follow, those long moments when one relives the last bout of torture and waits for the next.
    Cesare Pavese (1908–1950)

    Television programming for children need not be saccharine or insipid in order to give to violence its proper balance in the scheme of things.... But as an endless diet for the sake of excitement and sensation in stories whose plots are vehicles for killing and torture and little more, it is not healthy for young children. Unfamiliar as yet with the full story of human response, they are being misled when they are offered perversion before they have fully learned what is sound.
    Dorothy H. Cohen (20th century)