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Torture & Terrorism: International Conventions Against Torture


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1975 World Medical Association Declaration of Tokyo

In 1975, the World Medical Assembly defined torture as:

For the purpose of this Declaration, torture is defined as the deliberate, systematic or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons acting alone or on the orders of any authority, to force another person to yield information, to make a confession, or for any other reason.

The declaration explicitly forbade doctors from participating in torture in any circumstances, providing premises or substances or knowledge that would aid torture, or being present during torture or its threat.

The doctor shall not countenance, condone or participate in the practice of torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading procedures, whatever the offence of which the victim of such procedure is suspected, accused or guilty, and whatever the victim's belief or motives, and in all situations, including armed conflict and civil strife.

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