United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (26th June, 2018)

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Torture existed even in ancient times and the evil continues today. The United Nation secluded this day to give support to all victims of torture. To understand what torture really means a few issues concerning it has been compiled. A lot of the information is found in many Internet sites and a few a sited below.

Torture is defined as the action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a punishment or in order to force them to do or say something. Merriam – Webster site  it as the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure by something that causes agony or pain and may be form of causing  anguish of body or mind or causing agony.

A victim of torture is anyone who has experienced any form of torture, which is defined as "any act by which severe pain and suffering, whether physical or mental is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person. Torture is considered illegal under International law.

Many people get tortured because of;

  • For criticizing authority
  • For taking part in peaceful political activities
  • Identity aspects e.g. sexuality

The purpose of torture is mainly

  • Intimidate
  • Silence a person
  • Break a person

There are two types of torture;  

  1. Psychological torture which may involve - blackmail, exploitation, threats, and subjection to long periods of interrogation, as well as sleep/sensory deprivation among other things.
  2. Physical torture which involves -  physical violence, waterboarding, disfigurement, branding, castration, lashing, Cold Cell Torture (hypothermia), tooth extraction and starvation.

Human beings have devised gruesome instruments used to torture their fellow humans. Some of these methods are ancient time and modern methods. These instruments normally inflict unbearable, dehumanizing pain. Any person who feels that he/she has undergone some form of torture, or know someone who has or is going through it, should not wait until the effects destroy him/her. The best possible solutions are to:

  • Seek  rehabilitation
  • Treat the victim
  • Talk to them
  • Rescue them from the perpetrators.

Torture is evil and must be stopped.

Compiled by Grace Sitienei – University of Nairobi Library