Torture is illegal in most countries, as dictated by Geneva Conventions. However, there are sickening forms of torture that are practiced even today or were practiced only a few years ago. And they are listed here below:

1. Sensory Deprivation

Certainly the worst form of torture, depriving one of his/her senses is the most agonizing torture technique. The torturer not only handcuffs the victim, but also blindfolds, plugs his ears and nose to deprive him of 3 out of 5 senses: Seeing, Hearing, Smelling. This has proved to work instantaneously as the poor victim is unable to withstand the loss of his senses.

This technique is used, in one way or the other, in all other techniques.

2. Strappado / Palestinian Hanging

The ‘Palestinian Hanging’ is a vile form of torture in which the victim’s hands are tied behind his back, a tight rope is then passed over a pully and attached to victim’s hands such that the victim hangs over the ground. To further intensify the victim’s suffering, weights are attached.

3. Sleep Deprivation

Another type of torture is sleep deprivation, in which the victim is often made to stand vertically and then whenever he tries to sleep, he is physically harassed, subjected to loud/jarring sounds and bright lights. Sleep is something one has to get in order to remain peaceful and calm. However, when he is not allowed to do so, he will obviously go crazy. This technique is repeated over and over again until the desired results are obtained.

ex-Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin described his experience with sleep deprivation as follows:
In the head of the interrogated prisoner, a haze begins to form. His spirit is wearied to death, his legs are unsteady, and he has one sole desire: to sleep… Anyone who has experienced this desire knows that not even hunger and thirst are comparable with it.

4. Subjection to Extreme Heat/Cold

Extreme heat or cold is very unpleasant. When this is done on a victim when he is already tensed and stressed, it becomes a simple way of torturing. Victim is stripped then put inside a cell (or outdoors, depending on climate) and then made to face extreme heat (up to 50 degrees Celsius) or extreme cold (under 0 degrees Celsius). This technique is in use today.

5. Sexual Harassment (Rape/Sodomy)

Having sexual intercourse or oral/anal sex with someone against someone’s will is called sexual assault. Rape and Sodomy are two different things, but they are generally used to imply the same thing.

In this form of torture, the tormented victim is raped. It really does not matter if the victim is male or female (as proved with Abu Ghuraib). Raping leaves the victim psychologically and physically damaged and anguished.

6. Waterboarding

Waterboarding was once included in the ‘Enhanced Interrogation Techniques’ list by CIA, however it is (officially) no longer allowed. Waterboarding involves pinning the victim on his back with head inclined downwards, covering his/her face with a porous cloth (i.e. with tiny holes/passages in it). Water is then poured in great amounts over the victim’s face, inducing the mammalian diving reflex which can cause extreme pain, damage to lungs/brain and even broken bones if the victim tries to free himself.

It is, however, not currently confirmed if waterboarding is in use of the US intelligence agencies as Department of Defense refuses to give a formal statement on this.

7. Lynching

Lynching is a type of torture in which not a single individual but an entire mob takes part in the torturing of a victim. Victim is hanged and then beaten to death. This form of torture was prevalent in the United States during the 1950s-1960s when racial segregation was an issue of national level and victims were mostly African-Americans. However, thanks to the efforts of Martin Luther King, lynching is no longer exercised.

8. Forced Standing

“I stand for 8-10 hours a day,” Donald Rumsfeld wrote in a 2002 interrogation memo. “Why is standing limited to four hours?” Rumsfeld would probably feel a little differently about this if he had to stand in place for 8-10 hours, which can cause ankle swelling, bruising, and excruciating pain.

9. Death By A Thousand Cuts

This absolutely horrible form of torture was prevalent in China as late as 1905. The victim was tortured by cutting/slicing him with the use of a very sharp knife. Torture usually started with the cutting out of the eyes. This was done to blind the victim for the rest of the act so as to increase mental agony. Successive cuts would sever the victim’s ears, nose, lips, fingers, toes and ultimately large parts of flesh. The entire process would take over 3 days.

Cringed, aren’t we? What a sick sick world we live in.

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