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About Torture

ProtestersThough definitions vary, torture is generally defined as actions that cause excessive physical and psychological suffering. These may include physical and sexual assault, use of electric shock, employment of mind-altering drugs, sleep deprivation, and various other actions. Some interrogation techniques, detention methods, and operating procedures employed by military personnellaw enforcement, and other authorities on prisoners or enemy combatants have been identified as torture by human rights activists and international law. International governments, such as the United Nations (UN) and the International Criminal Court (ICC), have passed resolutions to investigate and prosecute charges of torture when it occurs in military and law enforcement settings. (Opposing Viewpoints)

Narrow the Topic

  • How can we define political torture?
  • Should torture be used in instances of national security?
  • What are the ethical issues regarding torture?
  • Does torture happen in the United States?
  • What is psychological torture and when has it been used?
  • Are prisoners of war tortured?
  • Is torture ever justifiable?
  • How has torture been used in cases of domestic abuse?
  • What can American and British military do to prevent more torture incidents like the ones alleged in Iraqi prisons?
  • Are prison and police detention forms of legal torture?