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Definitions of Torture

The current definition of torture used in the UK is that of the International Criminal Court: 'Torture' means the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, upon a person in the custody or in the control of the accused..."

Link [Last update: 2006-01-16; 13:18]

The British Government perspective

The Home Office still quotes the United Nations definition, from the UN Convention against Torture, which says:".. any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted by or at the instigation of a public official on a person for such purposes as obtaining from his or a third person a confession, punishing him for an act that he has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating him or other persons.."

Link [Last update: 2006-01-16; 13:10]

Human Rights Internet

Definitions plus other relevant documents and background information can be found on the web site.

Link [Last update: 2006-01-16; 13:11]

The World Medical Association

WMA prohibits medical professionals from any involvement in torture.

Link [Last update: 2006-01-16; 13:11]

The British Medical Association

This section of the BMA site gives useful ethical and general medical advice relating to torture.

Link [Last update: 2006-01-16; 13:11]

The European Convention on Human Rights

Members of the Council of Europe (a much larger organisation that the European Union) comply with the European Convention on Human Rights, under the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights See link below.

Link [Last update: 2006-01-16; 13:11]

The Human Rights Act

This act incorporates the ECHR into British legislation. See link below.

Link [Last update: 2006-01-16; 13:12]

Amnesty International

The AI site has lots of relevant information about torture and its prohibition, including much that is relevant to health professionals.

Link [Last update: 2006-01-16; 13:12]

Report: What can Health Professionals do to Support the Prevention of Torture

Presenting a report to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) meeting on the Prevention of Torture, held in Vienna on November 6 and 7, Dr M Peel stated that "healthcare professionals can play an essential part in the process (of preventing torture) with the careful assessment and documentation of evidence of ill-treatment.”

Link [Last update: 2006-01-16; 13:29]

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