This series presents an abstract from a journal article as a proposition for debate. Knowledge of the article itself is not assumed and is not required to participate in the discussion. Any points within the following abstract are open for consideration:
Context: After the reports of human rights abuses by the US military in Guantanamo Bay, Iraq, and Afghanistan, questions have been raised as to whether certain detention and interrogation procedures amount to torture.
Conclusions: 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 underlying mechanism of traumatic stress, and their long-term psychological outcome. Thus, these procedures do amount to torture, thereby lending support to their prohibition by international law.
From: Torture vs Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment: Is the Distinction Real or Apparent? Metin Basoglu, MD, PhD; Maria Livanou, PhD; Cvetana Crnobaric, MD, Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007;64:277-285.