Vigorous shaking of political prisoners as a means of interrogation: Physical, affective, and neuropsychological sequelae

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Abstract

Torture is a crude and ancient method of extracting information and confessions from prisoners. Its use is still widespread throughout the world, but its techniques have become increasingly sophisticated. Today, information and confessions arc commonly extracted from political prisoners with few signs of physical trauma. For instance, Israel's General Security Service has come to employ vigorous shaking as one such means of interrogation within the Occupied Territories of the Gaza and West Bank. This procedure may sound innocuous, but there are good reasons to believe that vigorous shaking can induce whiplash-related injuries. Such evidence is found in the child abuse and motor vehicle accident literature. Although global intellect may appear unaffected, more subtle emotional and cognitive dysfunction can create lasting impairment. This article concludes that vigorous shaking of political prisoners is a dangerous and potentially lethal mode of interrogation that should be discontinued by Israel's General Security Forces and avoided by all governments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalPolitics and the Life Sciences
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes

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