Ladies and gentlemen I give you the scientific proof:-
Psychological torture, including some of the techniques reportedly used on Guantanamo Bay detainees, appears to inflict the same kind of long-term mental damage as physical abuse. Researchers who evaluated the mental health of soldiers and civilians tortured during the 1990s Balkan wars found that victims of psychological abuse were just as likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression as victims of classic physical torture methods.
The researchers also reported that the torture victims rated some techniques such as stress positions, isolation, sleep deprivation and blindfolding as distressing as most physical torture methods.
“Ill treatment during captivity, such as psychological manipulations, humiliating treatment, and forced stress positions, does not seem to be substantially different from physical torture in terms of the severity of mental suffering they cause,” the study’s authors wrote.
“Thus, these procedures do amount to torture, thereby lending support to their prohibition by international law,” they wrote in the journal of the Archives of General Psychiatry. The investigators said their findings undermine moves by the US government to narrow its definition of torture in order to free interrogators to use certain psychological methods aimed at breaking a prisoner’s resistance.
In 2003, lawyers for the US Justice Department and a Pentagon working group report on detainee interrogations made the case for a narrow definition of torture that excludes procedures such as blindfolding and hooding, forced nudity, isolation and other psychological manipulations.
The Justice Department memorandum argued that the scope of the term torture should be limited to those acts which could be shown to result in “prolonged mental harm,” according to the study. The development followed allegations of human rights abuses at US detention facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
However, the authors of this paper said that based on their analysis of the experiences of torture victims from the modern Balkans conflict, the US appears to be drawing a distinction without a difference.
They said their analysis of 279 Bosnian, Croatian and Serb torture survivors showed that the individuals who suffered psychological abuse had the same rates of depression, PTSD, and social and work-related problems as others who had endured beatings, burnings, sexual abuse and other forms of physical punishment at the hands of their captors.
They suggested that the trauma is the same, because regardless of the form of aggression, the effect is to create fear or anxiety in the detainee while at the same time removing any form of control from the person in order to create a state of total helplessness.
“The distinction between torture and degrading treatment is not only useless, but also dangerous,” said Steven Miles, professor of bioethics at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in an accompanying editorial in the journal of the Archives of General Psychiatry.
The study was written by Metin Basoglu, head of trauma studies at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, with help from colleagues at the department of psychiatry at the Clinical Hospital Zvezdara in Belgrade. –
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