Publisher: University of Calabar

Torture: A Crime Against Humanity

Inam Ul Haq
KEYWORDS: Definitions, Torture, Coding of Torture, Conventions against Torture


The term torture is a generic concept and can be defined, debated and deliberated under various conditions, in diverse contexts and claims. There is no consensus among the scholars, practitioners about the meaning of the term. It has been used as an investigative technique inflicted on a third person for the purpose of extracting information or confession. According to the United Nations Convention on 10 December 1984, Torture means any kind of act which causes severe pain or sufferings whether physical or mental and is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes obtaining information or a confession. This definition does not include “pain or suffering arising only from inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions. Torture has been used less against citizens, however, more often against the people who are not the members of society like slaves, foreigners, prisoners of war and members of racial, ethnic and religious outsider groups. However, in the twentieth century, the rises of liberal democratic states have caused a decrease in the practice of state torture against citizens. Increase in torture can be attributed to three developments in the Twentieth century. This paper highlights the use of torture in a democratic country like India

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