What is hooding?


Hooding is the placing of a hood over the entire head of a prisoner. One legal scholar considers the hooding of prisoners to be a violation of international law, specifically the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions, which demand that persons in the power of occupying forces be treated humanely. Hooding is potentially dangerous, especially when a prisoner's hands are also bound. It is considered to be an act of torture when its primary purpose is sensory deprivation during interrogation; it causes "disorientation, isolation, and dread." According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, hooding is used to prevent people from seeing and to disorient them, and also to prevent them from breathing freely. Hooding is sometimes used in conjunction with beatings to increase anxiety as to when and where the blows will fall. Hooding also allows the interrogators to remain anonymous and thus to act with impunity. Moreover, if a group of prisoners is hooded, the interrogator can play them off against each other by pretending, for instance, that some of them are cooperating, which the prisoners will be unable to verify.

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Some articles on hooding:

Documented Use of Hooding - Uruguay
... by the Servicio Paz y Justicia Uruguay, hooding was the most common form of torture practiced in military and police centers in the 1970s ...