Torture

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Torture, according to the United Nations Convention Against Torture (an advisory measure of the UN General Assembly) is:

Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion. In addition to state-sponsored torture, individuals or groups may be motivated to inflict torture on others for similar reasons to those of a state; however, the motive for torture can also be for the sadistic gratification of the torturer, as in the Moors murders.

Torture is prohibited under international law and the domestic laws of most countries in the 21st century. It is considered to be a violation of human rights, and is declared to be unacceptable by Article 5 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Signatories of the Third Geneva Convention and Fourth Geneva Convention officially agree not to torture prisoners in armed conflicts. Torture is also prohibited by the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which has been ratified by 147 states.[2]

National and international legal prohibitions on torture derive from a consensus that torture and similar ill-treatment are immoral, as well as impractical.[3] Despite these international conventions, organizations that monitor abuses of human rights (e.g. Amnesty International, the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims) report widespread use condoned by states in many regions of the world.[4] Amnesty International estimates that at least 81 world governments currently practice torture, some of them openly.[5]

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