Essay by xxpaulina7xxHigh School, 11th gradeA, February 2007

download word file, 3 pages 4.7

Torture is the act of inflicting excruciating pain as a means of getting a confession or information out of a person, or for sheer cruelty. Torture has been used by governments throughout history for punishment, coercion, and pressuring people into confessing of a crime or to extract the information. The use of torture goes way back to ancient times, when it was common practice. Today, torture is a highly controversial topic in the American society and all over the world. Some people think that torture is adequate and can be positive in some cases, however torture is unacceptable, it goes against the all the morality and legal documentation which prohibits it.

After the September 11th, 2001, a lot of people changed their mind about torture and think that in some cases it is permissible. Nevertheless, torture is not tolerable under any circumstances, even during the war against terrorism. Several laws were passed and conventions held which outlawed the use of torture.

One of them is "The United Nations Convention against Torture, and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment," which was signed in June 1987. It states that no one may be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The Article 1 of the conventions says, "Torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, and is intentionally inflicted on a person, for such purposes as obtaining from him...information or confession." This illustrates torture as immoral and inhumane and strongly disapproves of it. (

The Geneva Conventions were also held to prohibit the torture. These four conventions specifically protect the prisoners of war and people who fall into enemy's hands. "No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war...