United States

As the United States comes to grips with the abusive interrogation techniques used against detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere—and as the internal Bush administration memoranda debating what interrogation techniques are permissable become public—it is useful to consider the techniques the U.S. government has condemened when used by other countries. The following list, while not exhaustive as to which countries used specific techniques to torture and mistreat their detainees, reveals what practices the U.S. government has previously condemned.

Examples of Torture or other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment Condemned in the U.S. State Department’s 2003 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices*

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Type of Abuse Country
Beatings Brazil, Burma, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe
Binding/Shackling of Limbs China, Eritrea, Israel, Pakistan
Blindfolding Egypt, Israel, Turkey
Branding Iraq
Burning Iran, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Turkey
Denial of Food/Water Burma, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Pakistan , Tunisia, Turkey, Zimbabwe
Dog Attacks Libya
Dripping Water on Head Turkey
Electric Shocks Brazil, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Pakistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan
Exposure to Excessive Heat/Cold Eritrea, Indonesia, North Korea, Turkey
Forced Painful Positions Burma, Israel, North Korea
Humiliation Indonesia, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan , Turkey
Mock Executions Turkey
Sexual Assaults Egypt, Eritrea, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan , Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan
Slapping Turkey
Sleep Deprivation Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Turkey
Solitary Confinement China, Iraq, Jordan, North Korea, Pakistan , Tunisia
Stripping Turkey
Submersion (Water-boarding) Brazil, Tunisia
Suffocation Indonesia, Libya, Uzbekistan
Suspension/Hanging by Limbs Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey
Threats (esp. of sexual abuse) Brazil, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Tunisia , Turkey

* This list is illustrative, not comprehensive. The 2003 country reports may identify other countries that employ these practices.