They were first used in Northern Ireland in 1971 as part of Operation Demetrius – the mass arrest and internment (imprisonment without trial) of people suspected of involvement with the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Out of those arrested, fourteen were subjected to a programme of “deep interrogation” using the five techniques. This took place at a secret interrogation centre in Northern Ireland. For seven days, when not being interrogated, the detainees were kept hooded and handcuffed in a cold cell and subjected to a continuous loud hissing noise. Here they were forced to stand in a stress position for many hours and were deprived of sleep, food and drink. They were also repeatedly beaten, and some reported being kicked in the genitals, having their heads banged against walls and being threatened with injections. The effect was prolonged pain, physical and mental exhaustion, severe anxiety, depression, hallucinations, disorientation and repeated loss of consciousness. It also resulted in long-term psychological trauma. The fourteen became known as “the Hooded Men” and were the only detainees in Northern Ireland subjected to all five techniques together. Other detainees were subjected to at least one of the five techniques along with other interrogation methods.
In 1976, the European Commission of Human Rights ruled that the five techniques amounted to torture. The case was then referred to the European Court of Human Rights. In 1978 the court ruled that the techniques were “inhuman and degrading” and breached the European Convention on Human Rights, but did not amount to “torture”. In 2014, after new information was uncovered that showed the decision to use methods of torture in Northern Ireland in 1971-1972 had been taken by ministers, the Irish Government asked the European Court of Human Rights to review its judgement and acknowledge the five techniques as torture.
The Court’s ruling that the five techniques did not amount to torture was later cited by the United States and Israel to justify their own interrogation methods, which included the five techniques. British agents also taught the five techniques to the forces of Brazil’s military dictatorship.
“This article addresses a puzzle: dictatorships that practice torture are more likely to accede to the un convention against torture ~cat! than dictator- ships that do not practice torture+ i argue the reason has to do with the logic of tor- ture+ torture is more likely to occur where power is shared+ in one-party or no-party dictatorships, few individuals defect against the regime+ consequently, less torture occurs+ but dictatorships are protorture regimes; they have little interest in making gestures against torture, such as signing the cat+ there is more torture where power is shared, such as where dictatorships allow multiple political parties+ alternative political points of view are endorsed, but some individuals go too far+ more acts of defection against the regime occur, and torture rates are higher+ because political parties exert some power, however, they pressure the regime to make concessions+ one small concession is acceding to the cat.”
Conrad, C. R., & Moore, W. H.. (2010). What stops the torture?. American Journal of Political Science
“States whose agents engage in torture in a given year have a 93% chance of continuing to torture in the following year. what leads governments to stop the use of torture? we focus on the principal–agent relationship between the executive and the individuals responsible for supervising and interrogating state prisoners. we argue that some liberal democratic institutions change the probability that leaders support the creation of institutions that discourage jailers and interrogators from engaging in torture, thus increasing the probability of a state terminating its use of torture. these relationships are strongly conditioned by the presence of violent dissent; states rarely terminate the use of torture when they face a threat. once campaigns of violent dissent stop, however, states with popular suffrage and a free press are considerably more likely to terminate their use of torture. also given the end of violent dissent, the greater the number of veto points in government, the lower the likelihood that a state terminates its use of torture.”
Brecher, B.. (2008). Torture and the Ticking Bomb. Torture and the Ticking Bomb
“We live in times when, as conor gearty has pointed out, ‘legal scholars in the us are being taken seriously when they float the idea of torture warrants as a reform to what they see as the unacceptably uncodified system of arbitrary torture that they believe currently prevails’. and he is right when he goes on to add that ‘This is like reacting to a series of police killings with proposals to reform the law on homicide so as to sanction officially approved pre-trial executions.’rnrnit is because the general public is taking these academics seriously that there is an urgent need to expose how spurious their ideologically driven arguments are. the “respectability” they confer on the argument that so-called ticking bombs justify torture, and that it had therefore better be regulated, needs to be countered. otherwise there is a real danger that western politicians will succeed in persuading us to go along with them when they insist that another basic freedom – freedom from torture – is yet one more value we must abandon in the endless “war on terrorism”. it is a short road from legalising torture intended to gain information to accepting torture as a legitimate weapon and for all sorts of purposes. the “intellectual respectability” conferred by the academy is essential for that enterprise. thus, since alan dershowitz’s carefully constructed proposal to introduce torture warrants is both the most prominent and the most sophisticated of today’s attempts to make torture respectable, it is his proposal we need to focus on.rnrnin the introduction, i say something about both the intellectual and the political contexts of the so-called ticking bomb scenario that is the basis of these proposals. in chapter two i argue that the ‘ticking bomb’ scenario remains in crucial respects a fantasy; and that the grounds it is said to offer for justifying interrogational torture so as to avoid a putative catastrophe are spurious. in chapter three i argue that, whatever you think of those arguments, the consequences of legalising interrogational torture, and thus institutionalising it, would be so disastrous as to outweigh any such catastrophes anyway. finally, in chapter four, i draw together what the details of my argument imply about torture in general and interrogational torture in particular; and about why any even semi-decent society must abhor torture -– in all circumstances, always, everywhere.”
Lightcap, T.. (2011). The politics of torture. The Politics of Torture
“BACKGROUND it remains uncertain whether basilar-type migraine (bm) is a subtype of migraine with typical aura (mta) or a distinct phenotype or genotype. objective to analyze the symptomatology, familial distribution, and genotype of bm. methods the authors recruited 105 families comprising 362 patients with mta or bm (international classification of headache disorders-1 criteria). among these patients, 38 patients from 29 families had bm. in 12 of the families with bm with an apparently dominant inheritance the authors sequenced all exons of the cacna1a (chromosome 19) and atp1a2 (chromosome 1) genes responsible for most cases of the autosomal dominantly inherited familial hemiplegic migraine and performed a linkage analysis of chromosome 1 and 19 with a nonparametric or autosomal dominant parametric model using an affected only analysis. results bm occurred in 10% (38/362) of patients with mta. the basilar-type aura had a median duration of 60 minutes and comprised vertigo 61%, dysarthria 53%, tinnitus 45%, diplopia 45%, bilateral visual symptoms 40%, bilateral paresthesias 24%, decreased level of consciousness 21%, hypacusia 21%, and ataxia 5%. the relative frequency of the individual basilar-type symptoms was not different from patients with hemiplegic migraine from a previous study. the patients with bm were equally distributed among the 105 families with mta (p = 0.37). the attacks of mta were identical in families with or without bm. no causative mutations and no linkage was identified. conclusions basilar-type aura seemingly may occur at times in any patient with migraine with typical aura. there is no firm clinical, epidemiologic, or genetic evidence that bm is an independent disease entity different from mta.”
Rejali, D.. (2011). Torture and Democracy. In Torture: Power, Democracy, and the Human Body
“I. for a long time — at least six decades — photographs have laid down the tracks of how important conflicts are judged and remembered. the western memory museum is now mostly a visual one. photographs have an insuperable power to determine what we recall of events, and it now seems probable that the defining association of people everywhere with the war that the united states launched pre-emptively in iraq last year will be photographs of the torture of iraqi prisoners by americans in the most infamous of saddam hussein’s prisons, abu ghraib. the bush administration and its defenders have chiefly sought to limit a public-relations disaster — the dissemination of the photographs — rather than deal with the complex crimes of leadership and of policy revealed by the pictures. there was, first of all, the displacement of the reality onto the photographs themselves. the administration’s initial response was to say that the president was shocked and disgusted by the photographs — as if the fault or horror lay in the images, not in what they depict. there was also the avoidance of the word ‘“torture.”’ the prisoners had possibly been the objects of ‘“abuse,”’ eventually of ‘“humiliation”’ — that was the most to be admitted. ‘ “my impression is that what has been charged thus far is abuse, which i believe technically is different from torture,”’ secretary of defense donald rumsfeld said at a press conference. ‘ “and therefore i’m not going to address the ‘torture’ word.”’”