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What are the 10 most prevalent forms of torture and why?


5
Beatings
Inmates in a Manila, Philippines, jail in 2006. The country was criticized by the U.S. for subjecting its inmates to torture, including beatings.
Inmates in a Manila, Philippines, jail in 2006. The country was criticized by the U.S. for subjecting its inmates to torture, including beatings.
Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images

One Danish study of 69 refugees found that 97 percent of survivors reported being beaten at the hands of their captors [source: Olsen et al.].

"Beatings are universal, although implements may vary," write authors Michael Peel and Vincent Iacopino in "The Medical Documentation of Torture." Beating can be as simple as punching, slapping or kicking a victim. It may come spontaneously, or in conjunction with other methods. Captors may also deliver beatings with any manner of blunt weapons.

There are some specific methods to this kind of torture, too. The falanga (or falanka, depending on where in the world you're being tortured) method involves beating the soles of the feet. This type of torture can leave victims' feet insensitive to touch and temperature and cause lasting, severe pain and an altered gait while walking [source: Prip and Perrson].


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