PHR and TASSC International held a briefing at the Capitol entitled “Psychological Torture in Detention” in recognition of Torture Awareness Month. The discussion centered on the use of psychological torture on individuals in detention through practices such as prolonged indefinite detention and abusive solitary confinement.
Is it torture to waterboard a person, slam them against walls, deprive them of sleep, and force them into stress positions until they cry out for mercy? Close your eyes and imagine this is being done to your husband, your sister, or your child; it would seem to be an easy question to answer.Yet today, some are asking whether such “interrogation techniques” are effective. Here’s the answer of Senator John McCain, who was tortured: “under torture a person will say anything he thinks his captors want to hear — true or false — if he believes it will relieve his suffering.
Eighteen years after the United States ratified the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, we are still engaging in illegal and immoral practices all over the world.
Despite the failure of the US to ensure equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens, LGBT people around the world still see it as a place where they can live their lives freely and openly, without fear of imprisonment or torture.
United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Juan Méndez, is currently visiting Tajikistan to assess measures taken by the Tajik government to bring its torture prohibition legislation into compliance with international standards.