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Strappado

From Academic Kids

The strappado is a form of torture in which a victim is suspended in the air by means of a rope attached to his hands which are tied behind his back. Weights may be added to the body. A variant of strappado (the medieval inquisition name), is also known as reverse hanging, or Palestinian hanging and has been reported used in the Middle East as well as by institutions that practice torture.

There are two variants of this torture. In the first one, the victim has his arms tied behind his back; a large rope is then tied to his wrists and passed over a beam or a hook on the roof. The torturer pulls on this rope until the victim is hanging from his arms. Since he has the hands tied behind the back, this will cause a very intense pain and possible dislocation of the arms.

The full weight of the subject's body is then supported by the extended and internally-rotated shoulder sockets. While the technique shows no external injuries, it can cause long-term nerve, ligament, or tendon damage. The technique typically causes brachial plexus injury, leading to seizures or paralysis in the arm.

In the second variant, the victim's hands are tied to the front. The victim is also hung from the hands, but his ankles are tied and a heavy weight is attached to them. This will cause pain and possible damage not only to the arms, but also to the legs and hips. This variant was known as squassation.

The modern name "Palestinian hanging" is derived from its alleged use in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, although the technique has been used by security forces of Iran, and, most infamously, Turkey. It was also allegedly implicated in the death of prisoner Manadel al-Jamadi by US forces in Iraq [1] (http://207.44.245.159/article8109.htm). In 1996, the European Court of Human Rights found Turkey guilty of torture (Aksoy v. Turkey, 18 December 1996) for its use of Palestinian hanging. Turkey has been admonished by Amnesty International and other international human rights groups concerning the use of the reverse hanging technique.

In November 2003, Manadel al-Jamadi was killed during an interrogation session at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, in which the "Palestinian hanging" method was used on him. His corpse, wrapped in cellophane and packed in ice, was seen in one of the photographs that broke the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse scandal. The U.S. military has ruled the death a homicide.

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