5 Punishments Used In Modern Times

The word ‘torture’ refers to the action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone in order to force them to do or say something.

It also means inflicting pain on others merely for the sake of gaining pleasure.

With that being said, here are the 5 gruesome torture methods used in modern times.



The Tucker Telephone – Source:

If you lived in the 1960s and was unfortunate to end up in prison, the Tucker State Prison Farm in Arkansas would be your worse nightmare.

During this era, doctors at the prison began using a torture device known as the ‘Tucker Telephone’ on headstrong prisoners.

The device worked by placing a ground wire around the big toe of a prisoner while fastening another wire, the hot wire, to the prisoner’s genitals.

The telephone, which had been modified to transfer electric shocks, was then cranked, sending electricity right to the private part.

However, the nightmare doesn’t end there. Prisoners would pray that they would not be subjected to a ‘long-distance phone call’, which in prison terms, meant they would be electrocuted repeatedly.

Fortunately, the torture device was eventually banned in the 1970s.



Strappado – Source:

Strappado is a form of torture whereby a prisoner is hung with their arms fastened behind their head, in which the arms will then slowly wrench from the shoulder sockets by the weight of the body.

Once the prisoner is exhausted, they won’t be able to hold themselves upright, making their bodies fall forward and impairing their breathing.

In the modern world, this method is famously known as the ‘Palestinian Hanging’, also heavily used during the Renaissance.

Mandel Al-Jamadi was one of the last known ‘victims’ subjected to this inhumane torture carried out by the United States in 2003.

Jamadi was arrested for allegedly being involved in making explosives and was sent to the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

He died while being tortured.



Image for illustration purpose only – Source:

According to List Verse, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is authorised to use six interrogation techniques, which one of them turns out to be torture.

The CIA established an “enhanced interrogation technique” known as the ‘cold cell’, where prisoners are placed in front of an air conditioning unit for a long period of time, which can take hours, days, or even years in some cases.

The agency is not the only one to practice this method. The first recorded use of the cold cell took place back in 1961, when guards at Parchman Farm – Mississippi’s state prison doused detained civil rights activists with fire hoses and then turned the air conditioning system on full blast for three days.



The German Chair – Source:

The German Chair is used by the Syrian Government against the rebels in the country’s civil war.

When a prisoner is captured, they will then be placed in a metal chair. Their legs and arms are secured to the metal seat while the back of the chair is pulled back and down towards the ground.

This causes severe stress on the spine, neck, and other limbs, often causing permanent damage.



White Torture – Source:

Although no physical abuse is involved, the ‘White Torture’ may be the worst kind of torture so far.

It is a form of emotional and physiological torture, where instead of inflicting physical pain on the prisoner, they are tormented with sensory deprivation and isolation.

The first person to experience this method is Amir Abbas Fakhravar. This torture was carried out by the Iranian government on Fakhravar. According to Amnesty International, – the cells had no windows, and entirely everything was coloured creamy white.

“The meal was white rice on a white paper plate. If he wanted to use the toilet, he had to put a white slip of paper under the door of the cell to alert guards who reportedly had footwear designed to muffle any sound. Fakhravar was forbidden to talk to anyone,” said the international human rights organisation.


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