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Ad extirpanda

Ad extirpanda was a papal bull promulgated on Wednesday, May 15, 1252 by Pope Innocent IV which authorized in limited and defined circumstances the use of torture by the Inquisition for eliciting confessions from heretics.

Ashoka's Hell

Ashokas Hell was, according to legend, an elaborate torture chamber disguised as a beautiful palace full of amenities such as exclusive baths and decorated with flowers, fruit trees and ornaments. It was built by Emperor Ashoka in Pataliputra, th ...

Blinding (punishment)

Blinding is a type of physical punishment which results in complete or nearly complete loss of vision. It has been used as an act of revenge and torture. The punishment has been used since Antiquity; Greek mythology makes several references to bl ...

Blood eagle

The blood eagle is a ritual method of execution, detailed in late skaldic poetry. According to the two instances mentioned in the Sagas, the victims were placed in a prone position, their ribs severed from the spine with a sharp tool, and their l ...

Castration

Castration is any action, surgical, chemical, or otherwise, by which an individual loses use of the testicles: the male gonad. Surgical castration is bilateral orchidectomy, and chemical castration uses pharmaceutical drugs to deactivate the test ...

Crushing (execution)

Death by crushing or pressing is a method of execution that has a history during which the techniques used varied greatly from place to place, generally involving the placement of intense weight upon a person with the intent to kill. This form of ...

Curious Punishments of Bygone Days

Curious Punishments of Bygone Days is a history book published in 1896. It was written by Alice Morse Earle and printed by Herbert S. Stone & Company. Earle was a historian of Colonial America, and she writes in her introduction: In ransacking ol ...

Cyphonism

Cyphonism was a form of punishment using a κύφων, a kind of wooden pillory in which the neck of a malefactor would be fastened. Formerly, this term was widely believed to refer to scaphism, a form of punishment or torture in which a persons naked ...

Death by burning

Death by burning is an execution method involving combustion or exposure to extreme heat. It has a long history as a form of capital punishment, and many societies have employed it for criminal activities such as treason, heresy and witchcraft. T ...

Death by sawing

The term death by sawing indicates the act of sawing a living person in half, either sagittally, or transversely. Death by sawing was a method of execution reportedly used in different parts of the world, but most frequently in the Medieval Europ ...

Denailing

Denailing is the extraction of the nails from the fingers and/or toes, either as a medical procedure to treat severe nail infections, or as a method of torture. The United Nations Istanbul Protocol describes nail removal and the insertion of obje ...

Derby's dose

Derbys dose was a form of torture used in Jamaica to punish slaves who attempted to escape or committed other offenses like stealing food. According to Malcolm Gladwell in his 2008 book Outliers, "The runaway would be beaten, and salt pickle, lim ...

Disembowelment

Disembowelment or evisceration is the removal of some or all of the organs of the gastrointestinal tract, usually through a horizontal incision made across the abdominal area. Disembowelment may result from an accident but has also been used as a ...

Dismemberment

Dismemberment refers, in general terms, to the act of cutting, tearing, pulling, wrenching or otherwise removing the limbs of a living thing. It has been practiced upon human beings as a form of capital punishment, especially in connection with r ...

Doctors of the Dark Side

Doctors of the Dark Side is a documentary about the role of physicians and psychologists in the torture of prisoners. The movie tells the story of four detainees, and how healthcare professionals working for the United States Army and the Central ...

Edison divorce coercion ring

The New York divorce coercion gang was a New York group that kidnapped, and in some cases tortured, Jewish men to force them to grant their wives gittin. Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation broke up the group after conducting a sting op ...

Effectiveness of torture for interrogation

Torture has been used throughout history for the purpose of obtaining information in interrogation. Torture, while widely illegal and a violation of international law, has been frequently cited as generating false or misleading information, and l ...

Emasculation

Emasculation of a human male is the removal of both the penis and the testicles, the external male sex organs. Depending on the context, this may be seen as consensual body modification, or non-consensual genital mutilation.

Ethical arguments regarding torture

Ethical arguments have arisen regarding torture, and its debated value to society. Despite worldwide condemnation and the existence of treaty provisions that forbid it, some countries still use it. The ethical assertion that torture is a tool is ...

Flaying

Flaying, also known colloquially as skinning, is a method of slow and painful execution in which skin is removed from the body. Generally, an attempt is made to keep the removed portion of skin intact.

Foot roasting

Foot roasting is a method of torture used since ancient times. The torture takes advantage of the extreme sensitivity of the sole of the foot to heat. The Romans immobilized the prisoner and pressed red-hot iron plates to the soles of his feet. T ...

Forced confession

A forced confession is a confession obtained from a suspect or a prisoner by means of torture or other forms of duress. Depending on the level of coercion used, a forced confession is not valid in revealing the truth. The person being interrogate ...

Foreign and Commonwealth Office migrated archives

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office migrated archives are sensitive and incriminating collections of documents from Britains former colonial governments that were sent back to the UK on the eve of decolonisation for storage in the FCO archives to ...

Garrote

A garrote or garrote vil is a weapon, most often a handheld ligature of chain, rope, scarf, wire or fishing line used to strangle a person.

Glasgow smile

A Glasgow smile is a wound caused by making a cut from the corners of a victims mouth up to the ears, leaving a scar in the shape of a smile. The act is usually performed with a utility knife or a piece of broken glass, leaving a scar which cause ...

Hamstringing

Hamstringing is a method of crippling a person or animal so that they cannot walk properly by severing the hamstring tendons in the thigh of the individual. It is used as a method of torture, or to incapacitate the victim.

Hanged, drawn and quartered

To be hanged, drawn and quartered was, from 1352, a statutory penalty in England for men convicted of high treason, although the ritual was first recorded during the reign of King Henry III. The convicted traitor was fastened to a hurdle, or wood ...

How to Break a Terrorist

How to Break a Terrorist: The US Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq is a book written by an American airman who played a key role in tracking down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Jetliner position

The jetliner position, also known as the captains chair, is a form of physical torment used in cases where the tormentor is unable or unwilling to inflict corporal punishment on the subject. The recipient is made to put his back against a wall or ...

Le Jeu de la Mort

Le Jeu de la Mort is a French/Swiss television documentary broadcast by the French public television channel France 2. It was presented as a social commentary on the effects of obeying orders and humiliation in reality television, and its broadca ...

Kishka (prison cell)

A kishka is a type of prison cell used in Soviet prisons. The cell was named after the gut, in that it was tall and narrow, like an intestine, but more like a chimney. The prisoner had room to stand, but could not sit or kneel, let alone lie down ...

Lingchi

Lingchi, translated variously as the slow process, the lingering death, or slow slicing, and also known as death by a thousand cuts, was a form of torture and execution used in China from roughly 900 CE until it was banned in 1905. It was also us ...

List of International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims members

Albania Albanian Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma and Torture Victims ARCT Argentina Equipo Argentino de Trabajo e Investigacion Psicosocial EATIP Armenia Foundation against Violation of Law FAVL Australia Survivors of Torture and Trauma Assistan ...

List of people hanged, drawn and quartered

To be hanged, drawn and quartered was a penalty in England and the United Kingdom for several crimes, but mainly for high treason. This method was abolished in England in 1870.

Mancuerda

Mancuerda was a method of torture. A tight cord was wound around the arms of the condemned. The executioner would then throw his entire weight backwards, or the pressure would be exerted by a lever. The cord cut through skin and muscle directly t ...

Milgram experiment

The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram. They measured the willingness of study participants, men from a diverse range of occ ...

Melvin L. Morse

Melvin L. Morse is an American medical doctor who specialized in pediatrics. He was voted by his peers as one of "Americas Best Doctors" in 1997–1998, 2001–2002, and 2005–2006. He has published numerous scientific articles in medical journals ove ...

Torture museum

A torture museum is a museum that exhibits instruments of torture and provides tutorials on the history of torture and its use in human society. Several museums dedicated to the history of torture are located in Europe.

Pain compliance

Pain compliance is the use of painful stimulus to control or direct a person or animal. The stimulus can be manual, use tools such as a whip or electroshock weapon, or use chemicals such as tear gas or pepper spray. The purpose of pain compliance ...

Peine forte et dure

Peine forte et dure was a method of torture formerly used in the common law legal system, in which a defendant who refused to plead would be subjected to having heavier and heavier stones placed upon his or her chest until a plea was entered, or ...

Pharmacological torture

Pharmacological torture is the use of psychotropic or other drugs to punish or extract information from a person. The aim is to force compliance by causing distress, which could be in the form of pain, anxiety, psychological disturbance, immobili ...

Pitchcapping

Pitchcapping was a form of torture used by the British military against suspected Irish rebels during the period of the 1798 rebellion, most famously on Anthony Perry, one of the leaders of the Wexford Rebels.

Program for Torture Victims

The Program for Torture Victims is a non-profit organization that provides medical, psychological, case management and legal services to torture survivors. PTV serves more than 300 victims of state-sponsored torture from over 65 countries annually.

Psychological torture

Psychological torture is a type of torture that relies primarily on psychological effects, and only secondarily on any physical harm inflicted. Although not all psychological torture involves the use of physical violence, there is a continuum bet ...

Psychology of torture

The psychology of torture refers to the psychological processes underlying all aspects of torture including the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim, the immediate and long-term effects, and the political and social institutions th ...

Rat torture

The "Rats Dungeon", or "Dungeon of the Rats", was a feature of the Tower of London alleged by Roman Catholic writers from the Elizabethan era. "A cell below high-water mark and totally dark" would draw in rats from the River Thames as the tide fl ...

Redress (charitable organisation)

Redress, or The Redress Trust is a human rights organisation based in London, England, that helps survivors of torture to obtain justice and reparation, in the form of compensation, rehabilitation, official acknowledgement of the wrong and formal ...

Relaxado en persona

Relaxado en persona is a Spanish phrase, literally meaning "relaxed in person", but a euphemism for "burnt at the stake" in the records of the Spanish Inquisition. The majority of those "relaxed in person" from 1484 onwards were relapsos or herej ...

Riyan Airport prison in Yemen

Riyan Airport prison in Yemen is a secret prison located in the cargo terminal in Riyan Airport in Yemen. The airport is a civilian one in the city of Mukalla. US special forces fighting al-Qaida are based close to this prison. Witnesses have cla ...

Rosenkammaren

Rosenkammaren was a torture chamber in the prison Nya smedjegården in Stockholm. It consisted of a long room, flooded with knee deep water from a spring. The prisoners sentenced to be tortured were chained by a hook from the ceiling in the knee d ...