A world without torture [Archives:2003/646/Opinion]

June 30 2003

By Yusra Al-Shathli
Torture has been in existence for a long time and it was not until the 18th century that a movement began to eradicate it. It is an inhuman act by which a person is subjected to terrible practices and painful experiences. As a result, the victim of torture suffers from physical and psychological damage. Physical torture may include suspension, beatings, electric shock, deprivation of food and water, sexual abuse and forced ingestion of chemicals. Other types of torture that have primarily psychological effects include solitary confinement, threats, witnessed torture or execution, sham executions, deprivation of sleep, and monopolization of perception. Although the victim may recover from the physical injuries, the psychological effects stay with the victim forever. For example, the victim suffers from psychological symptoms such as lack of sleep, nightmares, and problems with concentration, anxiety, depression, irritability, adjustment disorders, impotence, and feelings of powerlessness, shame and guilt.
In spite of all the efforts that have been made by the U.N and Human Rights Organizations, torture is still being practiced in many countries. Not only is it practiced in the third world countries, but also in the advanced countries. The victims of torture are men, women and even children. Those victims can't be the same normal people again after they had been tortured because they can't trust anyone anymore. The reason for that is the feeling of fear, which is always with them. Due to the terrible consequences and the negative effects that torture causes to the human soul, the community should work together in order to suppress torture in our world.
The process of repressing torture can be done through a number of procedures; one of them is spreading the human awareness of the seriousness of torture through lectures, internet websites and TV programs that host some people who were tortured or came under inhuman practices. In addition, the U.N should form regional and international organizations as well as domestic supervisory institutions in every country. The function of these organizations is to reveal the inhuman practices in any country and to trace the responsible for these acts. Moreover, these organizations' duty is to defame the authority that uses torture as a means to obtain information or to punish its citizens. Finally, there is a vital need for determined punishments or penalties for the individuals who torture the political detainees or the prisoners of war.
After all, the human soul is too precious and sensitive to be subjected to torture. This is why every one in this world, wherever he/ she is from, and whatever he/she believes in and whatever his/her color is, should make every effort to stand against this criminal act and should do every thing to help the victims of torture.