How does water torture feel?

Modern or individualized torture

Anyone who decides to subject their victim to psychological games usually not only achieves their primary goal of obtaining information. With misleading questions and absurd assertions, the tortured person is often completely robbed of the sense of reality or even the belief in his own identity. If he has been denied any sleep beforehand, he is particularly susceptible to this method. For example, it is claimed that the victim has long since disclosed certain information, which is why it is no longer of interest.

In some cases, the type of torture is now even individualized, which requires more intensive research on the victim of torture: Personal phobias and fears are specifically aroused or threatened to obtain information. The fact that his tormentor apparently knows the most private things about him makes the victim feel so inferior and at his mercy that he speaks out - his spirit is broken.

The Daschner case in Germany

What is the situation like in Germany? In the Federal Republic of Germany there is an absolute ban on torture. The proceedings of Vice Police Chief Wolfgang Daschner, who in 2002 ordered a subordinate to threaten the alleged kidnapper Magnus Gäfgen with torture if he did not finally reveal the whereabouts of the kidnapped eleven-year-old Jakob von Metzler, was all the more heatedly discussed. He must reckon with pain that he has never felt in his life. There was also talk of a torture expert who knew his trade - without leaving any traces. As a result, the framework of lies and misleading guests collapsed. He revealed the hiding place to the police - but the boy was already dead.

Exception "rescue torture"?

Daschner had recorded his procedure with a note on the file and thus sparked a huge discussion. Can a police officer threaten torture in exceptional situations - as in this case, in order to save the life of a child? The vice chief of police said at the time that he would act like this again at any time and would not stop at a mere threat if necessary. The criminal chamber ruled that Daschner had acted unlawfully because the threat of torture violated one of the most important human rights - human dignity. Both the memorandum and the “honorable, responsible disposition of the accused”, however, spoke in his favor. There was a warning, a fine and a probation period of one year. To date, the German Basic Law does not contain a paragraph that allows rescue torture in exceptional situations.

When does the end justify the means?

To legally allow torture is like dancing on raw eggs. If you open the door just a crack, more and more exceptions will push their way through it in next to no time. In the Daschner case, the police were certain that the perpetrator was sitting on the interrogation chair in front of them. But what about other cases? Sometimes, in agony, victims confess to acts they have never committed and provide information they cannot possess. We do not have the right to judge to what extent the end justifies the means. Therefore, torture of any kind should be a bygone dark chapter of humanity and not be a routine practice in the enlightened 21st century.