Summary: There is no universally agreed definition of torture. The most widely quoted definition is from the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment ("Convention against Torture"). Article 1 of that Convention defines torture as "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity".
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