Human Rights Project

Freedom from torture, Degrading Treatment


Torture is an action that purposefully places pain upon someone who cannot fight back. Torture is used for many reasons, it can be as punishment, interrogation, or just to please the torturer. But no matter who is being tortured, it leaves the person changed forever. People can develop split personalities, or PTSD that brings back painful flashbacks. Even physically, people can get wounds than never heal, like missing eyes, or scars. It should not be done under any circumstance, and it needs to be stopped. The CIA, quite possibly the greatest offender of this right, uses a large variety of torture methods, most notably weatherboarding. The CIA released documents detailing this, these documents are now known as the Torture Memos, which were explicit proof that they broke the 15th Human Right, Freedom From Torture, Degrading Treatment.

Stopping Torture

The Anti Torture Initiative, or the ATI, is an organization with the goal of stopping torture, or anything else that would be considered cruel treatment, and would break Article 15. Further information is listed below.

Incidents of Torture

Khalid El-Masri

This story is truly a horrible one. Read with discretion. Near the end of 2003, Khalid El-Masri, a German and Lebanese man, was beaten and arrested by Scandinavian police, then handed over to police. Khalid al-Masri was a terrorist, suspected to have assisted in the 9/11 bombings. However, Khalid El-Masri was a normal man, returning from a vacation. Because he was mistaken for the terrorist, Khalid El-Masri was tortured and had no escape, because he knew nothing about Al Qaeda's inner workings. Torturers simply assumed he wasn't giving them information because he had a strong devotion to Al Qaeda. However, this was no ordinary torture, Khalid El-Masri was subjected to torture via Suppositories, and other forms of forced anal penetration. He was forced to go through this, along with several transfers, until he reached Afghanistan. He took a page from Gandhi's book, and tried starving himself as a way of reaching his torturers. This had no effect, and he was force fed. He did however, lose 60 pounds by the end of his hunger strike.


Prisoner Abuse

2005 was a bad year to be in an American Prison. Channel 4 Released a documentary in 2005 named "Torture: America’s Brutal Prisons". This documentary showed us what happened to prisoners in the U.S, such as being stripped, beaten with assortments of weapons, including cattle prods, to the point of being turned into a pile of bloody flesh and broken bones, being attacked by the guard's dogs, and other terrible things. Some prisoner were stuck in a restraint chair, see above, for 16 hours, until he does of a blood clot. Some prisoners on death row were even killed before they could be executed properly.


Allied POWs in Japan

Allied POW's(Prisoner of War) that were captured by Japanese soldiers in the midst of WWII were subjected to many things, including torture. They were not only put through torture, by were forced into labor or executed. The worst parts were when they were either experimented on, or cannibalized. Yes, cannibalized. Shiro Ishii, commander of Unit 731, a human experimentation project, found a way to torture Allied Soldiers and continue his experiments at the same time. Vivisection. Vivisection is similar to Dissection in the sense that they both involve cutting something open for an experiment. However, Vivisection is often used for training surgeons, because unlike dissection, vivisection occurs while the test subject is still alive.