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Encyclopedia > Water cure
The Water Torture—Facsimile of a woodcut in J. Damhoudère's Praxis Rerum Criminalium, Antwerp, 1556.
The Water Torture—Facsimile of a woodcut in J. Damhoudère's Praxis Rerum Criminalium, Antwerp, 1556.

Water cure (also known as water torture) is a form of torture which is intended to make the subject feel the sensation of drowning. In the most common variation, the torturer pours water down the throat of the subject to inflict the terror of drowning, without causing the subject to drown. The victim also experiences the pain of stomach distention, and water intoxication. In another variation, the subject is tied or held down in a chair, his face is covered with a cloth or plastic sheet, and water is poured slowly or quickly over his face to encourage him to talk (see "waterboarding" for more detail). Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1424x1895, 118 KB)The Water Torture. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1424x1895, 118 KB)The Water Torture. ... Water torture is torture using water, which can take several forms. ... The word torture is commonly used to mean the infliction of pain to break the will of the victim(s). ... In anatomy, the stomach (in ancient Greek στόμαχος) is an organ of the gastrointestinal tract involved in the second phase of digestion, following mastication. ... Water intoxication (also known as hyperhydration or water poisoning) is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain function that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside of safe limits by a very rapid intake of water. ... Painting of waterboarding from Cambodias Tuol Sleng Prison Waterboarding is a form of torture[1][2][3][4] which is used to obtain information, coerce confessions, and for punishment and intimidation. ...


Often the victim has his nose closed with pincers and a funnel forced into his mouth. The victim has to drink all the water (or other liquids such as bile or urine) poured into the funnel to avoid drowning. The stomach fills until near bursting, and is sometimes beaten until the victim vomits and the torture starts over. Human nose in profile A typical bulbous human nose Anatomically, a nose is a protuberance in vertebrates that houses the nostrils, or nares, which admit and expel air for respiration. ... A typical kitchen funnel. ... Water is a chemical substance that is essential to all known forms of life. ... A liquid will usually assume the shape of its container. ... Vomiting (or emesis) is the forceful expulsion of the contents of ones stomach through the mouth. ...

Contents

Historical uses

France

Marquise of Brinvilliers being tortured.
Marquise of Brinvilliers being tortured.

This form of torture was used extensively and legally by the courts of France during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was known as being put to "the question", with the ordinary question consisting of eight pints (perhaps 4.5 litres) of water forced into the stomach, and the extraordinary question consisting of sixteen pints (perhaps 9 litres). The true case of the Marquise of Brinvilliers, tortured in this fashion, was reported in fiction by Arthur Conan Doyle in "The Leather Funnel" and by Alexandre Dumas, père in "The Marquise de Brinvilliers". More recently, water cure was used by the French military on Algerian prisoners during Algerian war of independence. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (958x883, 225 KB) Marquise de Brinvilliers being tortured Source: scanned myself File links The following pages link to this file: Marie-Madeleine-Marguerite dAubray, Marquise de Brinvilliers ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (958x883, 225 KB) Marquise de Brinvilliers being tortured Source: scanned myself File links The following pages link to this file: Marie-Madeleine-Marguerite dAubray, Marquise de Brinvilliers ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... The pint is a unit of volume or capacity. ... The litre or liter (U.S. spelling, see spelling differences) is a unit of volume. ... Marquise de Brinvilliers being tortured Marie-Madeleine-Marguerite dAubray, Marquise de Brinvilliers (1630-1676) was a French poisoner. ... Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, DL (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a Scottish author most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered a major innovation in the field of crime fiction, and the adventures of Professor Challenger. ... Alexandre Dumas, père, born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie (July 24, 1802 – December 5, 1870) was a French writer, best known for his numerous historical novels of high adventure which have made him one of the most widely read French authors in the world. ... Combatants FLN (1954-62) MNA (1954-62) France (1954-62) FAF (1960-61) OAS (1961-62) Commanders Ferhat Abbas Hocine Aït Ahmed Ahmed Ben Bella Krim Belkacem Larbi Ben MHidi Rabah Bitat Mohamed Boudiaf Messali Hadj Pierre Mendès-France General Jacques Massu General Maurice Challe Charles de...


United States

Water cure was among the forms of torture used by American soldiers on Filipinos during the Philippine-American War.[1] Combatants United States Philippines Commanders William McKinley Emilio Aguinaldo Strength 126,000 soldiers 80,000 soldiers Casualties 4,324 U.S. soldiers dead 2,000 Philippine Constabulary 16,000 soldiers killed est. ...


Eyewitness testimony of the water cure

Lieutenant Grover Flint during the Philippine-American War: Combatants United States Philippines Commanders William McKinley Emilio Aguinaldo Strength 126,000 soldiers 80,000 soldiers Casualties 4,324 U.S. soldiers dead 2,000 Philippine Constabulary 16,000 soldiers killed est. ...

"A man is thrown down on his back and three or four men sit or stand on his arms and legs and hold him down; and either a gun barrel or a rifle barrel or a carbine barrel or a stick as big as a belaying pin, -- that is, with an inch circumference, -- is simply thrust into his jaws and his jaws are thrust back, and, if possible, a wooden log or stone is put under his head or neck, so he can be held more firmly. In the case of very old men I have seen their teeth fall out, -- I mean when it was done a little roughly. He is simply held down and then water is poured onto his face down his throat and nose from a jar; and that is kept up until the man gives some sign or becomes unconscious. And, when he becomes unconscious, he is simply rolled aside and he is allowed to come to. In almost every case the men have been a little roughly handled. They were rolled aside rudely, so that water was expelled. A man suffers tremendously, there is no doubt about it. His sufferings must be that of a man who is drowning, but cannot drown. ..."[2]

See also

Water torture is torture using water, which can take several forms. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Future President William Howard Taft conceded under questioning at the Lodge Committee that the "so called water cure" had been used on some occasions to extract information. Miller, Stuart Creighton (1982). "Benevolent Assimilation" The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903. Yale Universty Press. ISBN 0-300-02697-8.  p. 213. Quoted from S. Doc. 331, 57 Congressional 1 Session (1903), page 1767-1768. President Theodore Roosevelt privately assured a friend that the [water cure] was "an old Filipino method of mild torture. Nobody was seriously damaged whereas the Filipinos had inflicted incredible tortures on our people." (Private letter from Roosevelt to Speck von Sternberg, July 19, 1902, in Elting Morison, editor, The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt, vol. 3, page 297-98.); See the Lodge Committee for detailed testimony of the use of the water cure. Also see Philippine-American War, Water Torture on wikiquote
  2. ^ Miller, Stuart Creighton (1982). "Benevolent Assimilation" The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903. Yale Universty Press. ISBN 0-300-02697-8.  p. 218; Told of "Water Cure" Given to Filipinos. Witness Went Into Details Before Senate Committee on the Philippines. New York Times, Feb. 25, 1902, p. 3 Philippine Investigating Committee/Lodge Committee Report summary on wikisource

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Water cure or water torture is a form of torture which is intended to make the subject feel the sensation of drowning.
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Water cure was among the forms of torture used by American soldiers on Filipinos during the Philippine-American War.
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