In the US there are: “1.3 million refugee torture survivors living in the US” (News & Success Stories). Torture is the act of severe pain onto someone as a form of punishment to get them to say something the torturer want to hear. There is a divided opinion whether torture can be effective on getting information from victims or is not effective on getting information. In Croatia there is a museum called Tortureum and there are different torture devices there. According to tortureum, “The first records of the legal application of torture to prove guilt or innocence were found in the Sumerian code of Ur – Nammu and the Babylonian code of Hammurabi which in the evidentiary procedure employed the so- called ‘divine judgment’ of the water-ordeal” (Tortureum).
The art of torture has been used for thousands of years, this practice is still being used today. Torture would then develop into finding someone innocent till proven guilty which is still being used today. Trials happen to prove the defendant is not responsible or did the crime that is being talked about in court. There are talks about if getting information from victims or torturing that person will damage them psychologically and emotionally. Some people see torturing as the only way of getting information from someone others see torture as doing more harm than good to the government to gather information from.
Torture can do more harm to someone than helping. Information from a tortured victim is not reliable for the torturer, torturing a person can damage them in the brain, it’s not effective at getting information from, it is morally wrong, the treatment of the victim is also bad. Most of America agrees that torture is the way of obtaining information from prisoner or anyone by forcing severe pain into them. Jamelle Bouie a writer from slate wrote, “Not only do 59 percent of Americans say the torture of suspected terrorist was justified, but 58 percent say torture is often or sometimes justified as, as general matter” (Bouie).
More than half of Americans believe that torture is justified for suspected terrorist or general matter. A large majority of Americans are okay with torture, they believe torture is justified because republicans support torture. Republicans believe torture is justified because the world is a dangerous place and to survive, we must fight back. Their mind is flooded with the belief that torture can do good for the people of the world. Another reason why torture is still being supported is because of pop culture.
Tv show have portrayed torture as a common tactic and effective on the media. The media portrayed torture as a powerful tactic that young men and women will use once they enter the law force. Pop culture has normalized violence that most people see torture as normal because it is constantly on media, news and television. Media is a big part on people’s lives especially younger peoples so when they see violence every time on the screen, they will become use to it. every time the news is on there is always violence being reported in the news. Media made young people think that torturing someone will get information out of them. In America there are a lot of people who believe torture can get truthful information from the severe pain inflicted into the tortured. However, torture is not the only way to obtain information.
In Shane O’Mara, author of “How Should we Interrogate the Brain?” explains, for any truthful information torturing someone is the worst available interrogation, we are in a legal system where confession under lots of stress are being obtained which is unsafe (Phil). This suggest that torture is the worst way of interrogation since the person being tortured us being under lots of stress. This type of information is not advised to use since the information obtained is not true. Torture survivors have: “elevated rates of anxiety, depression, and adjustment problems, including outbreaks of anger and violence directed towards family members” (Williams and Merwe).
These torture survivors are feeling lots of stress especially after the ordeal. Anxiety is making them anxious about everything around them. They also have doubts about the future because of what happen to them that people won’t be accepting of them. Adjustment period is long for these people because they have gone through a lot of suffering from the torturer. Torture survivor have lack of confidence or have no social support this can attribute to the stress. Due to the lack of confidence they will be isolated from the rest of the world.
Lots of shows on Tv show someone who lacks in confidence grow up to become a mature person. Television shows can influence someone or a child to do something adventurous. As mentioned before briefly people believe that torture can be used for good is because of society itself. We have created this misconception die to television shows like Criminal Minds, CSI, and NCIS. People have this perception now that if they want someone to tell them the truth, they must beat them up and they will tell the truth no matter what.
In a Ted Talk by Adam Collins, he states that “The popular culture or the perception is physical brutality and pain (negative reinforcement) will compel an individual to be truthful and provide the needed information” (Collins). This simply isn’t true because physical brutality only makes things worse for the tortured individual because they must suffer all that pain. In fact, in a ted talk Adam Collins states, “Bush administration described intense interrogation or torture could give us information to prevent another terrorist attack however after several months of these intense interrogation to Guantanamo bay torture did not work” (Collins). This means that what we see in media does not work anywhere. Even though in television torture does work there in real life it is a different story there.
The president tried to get information to prevent a terrorist attack, so they tried for several months of intense interrogation or torture. This method did not work because no one can with stand that amount of pain from torture. Torture causes pain to the person that is being tortured. This is seen as bad to many people because they are causing someone else’s pain by inflicting it themselves. Torture is seen as a bad thing to most people in the world, especially people who are spiritual. Immanuel Kant believes that the right or wrong of an action isn’t dependent on the consequences but on if the duty is fulfilled.
John Perry writer of “The Ethics of Torture.” Wrote “Kant said you should never treat people merely as instruments: never just as means to your goals… But if you want to get information out of a person, you should connect your desire for information with their goals. You should convince them to tell you what you want to know (Perry). Kant here is saying treat people as they matter first. Kant here is also saying to convince that person to tell someone else what they want to hear. Kant also says to not treat people like instruments. Torturers play with their victims as if they do not matter in this world. Torture does not go well with religion because that person is treating people like they are nothing and treating them with respect. This can tie with lying, which is a wrong doing with most religions.
Lying does not get the information officers need it makes things harder for them. Most people would think that the information from a torture victim would be reliable to police officers. But it turns out the information from the tortured are lies: “The reality is that torture has never been an effective means of obtaining information useful actionable reliable information cannot be coerced from an individual no one can with stand intense physical pain for an extended period of time and if subjected to it they willingly say anything just to make that stop” (Collins). This is not good for officer looking for answers to different crimes. No one can withstand the amount of physical pain torture can inflict.
When the pain is too much for the tortured, they will say anything to make that pain stop and they can be free. The information is not reliable because the tortured victim is just saying what the officer wants. This also means that all the information the officer obtained from the tortured victim have all ben lies, that’s not good for the polices reputation. The torturer makes the victim suffer and the treatment of the victim is bad. Another reason torture is not good is the torturer’s treatment of the victim. People expect torturers to treat their victims at least like a human being, but they don’t. the victim is getting beat up a lot by the torturer being forced to say whatever the torturer wants.
Jan-Willem Van der writer of “Torture, Dignity, and humiliation.” Wrote, “Torturers portray their victims as if they were less than fully Human. In their actions, torturers call into question, undermine, or deny their victims’ fundamental standing as persons” (Van Der). Torturers don’t really treat their victims well they treat them badly. Torturers see their victims as a thing not like a person they think they can do anything with them. Torturers will even think they are godlike because they are controlling what the victim can or cannot do. Torturers have full dominance on what the victim do if they do something wrong than the victim loses something.
Van Der also explains that: “What makes torture so horrific is that the person is force by the torturer to do something against his will or belief” (Van Der). By doing something against their will the victim has lost their sense of what who they are because they are being restrained from the torturer. People need to express who they are if they cannot then they won’t know who they truly are. Shane O’Mara explains for any truthful information torturing someone is the worst available interrogation
We are in a legal system where confession under lots of stress are being obtained which is unsafe (Phil). Torturing is causing physical pain to someone, when someone is causing pain, they will tell the torturer what they want because they cannot take the pain anymore. Getting truthful information is not easy you have to earn trust with the other person, appeal to them in a way. A way of obtaining information from someone is to say some stuff about yourself that will usually get people telling something about themselves. Easing their fear is another way of getting truthful information this will build trust among each other, it makes the other person feel secure with you. After everything the victim went through, they feel humiliated afterwards.
Another reason why torture is not good is the victim feels humiliated after that ordeal. Victims feel useless to the world during and after their torture. Suzy Killmister writer of “Dignity, torture, and Human Rights” states, “To feel humiliated is to feel that one has let oneself down, that one is not worthy of appearing in public. This loss of self-worth is explicable on the conception of personal dignity being offered here” (killmister 2). This is self-worth or self esteem is how the person feels about themselves. Once someone takes their self-confidence, they won’t really want to do. They won’t feel like going out in public because they do not feel worthy of being seen everyone.
Suzy Killmister also wrote, “Torture is designed to force victims to abandon their dignitaries standards, whatever they happen to be… or causing them such intense suffering that they betray an or because that is dear to them” (Killmister 8). Torture is designed to make their victims uncomfortable. They make the victims do things that normally they wouldn’t do. Some people don’t like doing things they are not comfortable doing so when the torturer makes them do the thing, they get scared. Sometimes something so traumatic like torture can cause intense pain and suffering and so they lose their dignity. Sometimes after their ordeal they are more alert about everything they want to be more cautious because they don’t want the same thing to happen.
So, torture victims isolate themselves from the world not talking to other people and staying their house because they feel more comfortable in their house. William Gorman writer of “Refugee Survivors of Torture: Trauma and Treatment” wrote “It is their perpetuation into the future and their aggravation by new stressors that often render them more psychologically harmful as post-traumatic and depressive reactions” (Gorman).
As torture victims think more of their future making sure the same thing that happen to them won’t happen to someone else. Sometimes new stressor around them will trigger their posttraumatic disorder because they are surround by different sounds. That amount of stress could really stress out that person and it could really discourage them from trying to get their treatment for PTSD. Some surroundings could trigger stress for torture victims like different sounds and actions the victim could have a breakdown due to this. It is important to introduce things slowly to the survivor because they went through a lot already.
Due to the extreme nature of torture there are countries that banned torture from being practiced. Torture is a practice of intense pain to get someone to say what they want. Because of the dangerous nature of torturing someone most of the world has banned torture. As mentioned before torture can cause PTSD from the intense pain and suffering that the victim must go through. Tortureum explains Prussia was the first country to abolish torture in 1740 then followed Austria in 1776 and France in 1789, beginning of the 19th century European legislation no longer used torture as legal instruments in trials anymore (Tortureum). Prussia was one of the 1st countries in Europe to abolish torture. The intensity of torture made different countries abolish it even making it illegal to do torture in those countries.
There are even several human rights due to the act of torture. Tortureum wrote, “A number of acts for the protection of human rights were adopted at the initiative of the council of Europe; the most significant among them is the convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, adopted in Rome in 1950” (Tortureum). There have been several human rights like the European convention on human rights which was written in Rome during the 1950 and then it went into force during 1953. Torture is illegal in some countries in the world. No human should be included in this cruel harsh treatment. Torture restricts rights and reducing that person into someone who just follows rules from another person.
Adam Collins Ted Talk states, “Torture is illegal by international law, it is morally offensive to the concept of civilization and torture is ineffective and inefficient” (Collins). Torture forbidden in a lot of places around the world and even the international law. Torture is ineffective for gathering information. Torture violates human rights and so there is a violation in the international law, the media has influence young people to believe torture is the only way of attaining information, and mentally as well as physically affecting someone in the long term. Ways of preventing the use of torture is special training in interrogation, involved in custody and the treatment of the detained person. Another way of decreasing the number of torturers is to have officers indict the suspected torturer, because torture is a crime.
Preventing and suppressing torture will be the main way of getting rid of torture for good. Have people who went through torture talk about their story having more people know more about torture. This will help spread the word on what torturing someone will do to someone else. There is no way around when it comes to prohibition of forms of torture, they are all cruel and inhuman treatment of other people. In the customary international law there are no exception or derogation of torture. Human rights are big everywhere so when someone tries to take that right away then that is seen as a crime.
There are no light sentences when it comes to torturing people. There should be more states against torture to protect human rights and the international law for the people. Have more background checks on applying for law enforcement to ensure people will not torture others. Torture is a crime of the people, invading their rights. We must protect that right. It takes one step at a time but with enough time torture will come to an end and people won’t have to suffer anymore.