image1 image2 image3 image4

PIT 1%

Cordelia Foundation
for the Rehabilitation of  Torture Victims

TAX ID number: 18083299-1-41

Please, offer your PIT 1% for our organisation, supporting the rehabilitation of torture victims.

Thank you for your donation.

Find us on Facebook



On torture

The basic definition of torture is that contained in the United Nations Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment:

"... 'torture' means any act by which severe pain or 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 has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions."

From this definition, it can be said that torture is the intentional infliction of severe mental or physical pain or suffering by or with the consent of the state authorities for a specific purpose.

The aim of torture is to break down the victim's personality and is often used to punish, obtain information or a confession, take revenge on a person or create terror and fear within a population.

Torture is distinguished from other forms of ill-treatment by the severe degree of suffering involved. It encompasses many forms of suffering, both physical and psychological, which are remarkably similar worldwide. Most techniques seek to prolong the victims' pain and fear for as long as possible without leaving visible evidence.

Some of the most common methods of physical torture include beating, electric shocks, stretching, submersion, suffocation, burns, rape and sexual assault.

It is important not to forget about psychological forms of ill-treatment which very often have the most long-lasting consequences for victims. Common methods of psychological torture include: isolation, threats, humiliation, mock executions, mock amputations, and witnessing the torture of others.
 

The effects of torture

The consequences of torture reach far beyond immediate pain. Many victims suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which includes symptoms such as flashbacks (or intrusive thoughts), severe anxiety, insomnia, nightmares, depression and memory lapses.

Torture victims often feel guilt and shame, triggered by the humiliation they have endured. Many feel that they have betrayed themselves or their friends and family. All such symptoms are normal human responses to abnormal and inhuman treatment.

Source: IRCT