What is Torture?
The term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for ant reason based on discrimination on any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
Article 1, UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)
Torture is abhorrent. Torture is illegal. Yet torture is inflicted on men, women and children in the Philippines and well over half the countries around the world.
Despite the universal condemnation of torture, it is still used to extract confession, to interrogate, to punish or to intimidate. In police stations and prison cells, on city streets and remote villages, torturers continue to inflict physical agony and mental anguish. Their cruelty kills, maims, and leaves scars on the body and mind that last a lifetime.
The victims of torture are not just people in the hands of the torturers. Friends, families and the wider community all suffer. Torture even damages and distorts the hope of future generations.