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Word Count: 1,259
Torture is one of the most barbaric acts of state repression and it constitutes a direct and deliberate attack on the core of the human personality Like slavery it is an expression of the almost unlimited power of one individual over another In the case of slavery the human being is degraded to the condition of a non-human object deprived of legal personality Torture aims to destroy human dignity and reduce the victim to the status of a passive tool in the hands of the torturerIn ancient and medieval times in Europe torture was employed to aggravate criminal punishments usually the death penalty and to extort confessions Its use was an officially accepted and legally regulated aspect of the criminal justice systemTorture was officially abolished in all European countries between 1750 and the 1830 Like the abolition of slavery its suppression was the fruit of the humanism and rationalism of the Enlightenment Although torture continued to be applied behind prison walls there were comparably few allegation so its systematic use in the lane nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Whereas slavery and the slave trade were explicitly prohibited by a number of bilateral and multilateral treaties culminating in the 1926 Slavery convention torture was so much regarded as a phenomenon of the past that neither international human rights law nor even most domestic bills of rights of this period contained explicit prohibitions Torture and other forms of cruel inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment are prohibited in various international treaties and agreements generally considered to have the force of law among them the Geneva Conventions of 1949 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 CCPR the 1984 UN Convention against Torture CAT the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights the American Convention on Human Rights of 1969 and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights of 1981 In addition article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 is generally
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