Call for papers

Special section of Torture Journal: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture


Pau Pérez Sales - Editor-in-Chief, Torture Journal
Guest Editor: John Schiemann, Professor of Government and Politics, Fairleigh Dickinson University


Since the early summer of 2020, the world has seen a wave of protests against shootings and brutality by police and other law enforcement and security services across the world. As the focus of many of those protests make clear, it is an unfortunate truism that racism and ethnocentrism often play an important but complicated role in violence and torture by police and other law enforcement and security services, including at demonstrations and in other non-custodial settings. What connections between racism on the one hand and torture and inhumane treatment on the other have endured, have remained largely the same? What are new or dramatically changed and transformed relationships? What are the implications for torture prevention and the rehabilitation of victims of torture and other inhumane treatment?


The UN Convention against Torture specifically identifies “discrimination of any kind” as one of the examples it prohibits. In the spirit of a 2020 resolution of the UN Human Rights Council calling attention to excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement officers against Africans and of people of African descent against and the Journal’s own recent special section on migration and torture, the Torture Journal seeks to gather and disseminate legal, social scientific, psychological, and historical perspectives on the relationship between racism and ethnocentrism broadly defined and torture and inhumane treatment by police and other law enforcement and security services in order to better understand and reduce their prevalence.

Call for papers

Torture Journal encourages international and national studies with a social scientific, historical, psychological, or legal orientation, particularly those that are interdisciplinary with other fields of knowledge. We particularly encourage submissions from the Global South. We welcome papers taking a variety of perspectives and approaches, including, but not limited to, the following:

Identification of the conditions under which police and other law enforcement and security agencies are more likely to selectively target members of specific racial or ethnic groups for torture and inhumane treatment;

Study of the social psychological links between prejudice, racism and torture generally, as well as the influence of prejudice and racism on the criminal interviewing methods and coercive interrogations;

Exploration of how racism and ethnocentrism affects the type or nature or supposed purpose of torture and inhumane treatment by police and other law enforcement and security service units who engage in torture;

Investigation of how the above patterns have changed over time within and across regions, countries, political regimes, socio-economic conditions, and other sources of variation;

Examination of the relationship, if any, between social protest movements and reform efforts, and the effectiveness of torture prevention in contexts of racialized and ethnicised torture and inhumane treatment;

Analysis of the broader social effects, widely construed, of systematic racialized and ethnicised torture and inhumane treatment by police and other law enforcement and security services;

Inquiry into whether there are physical and/or psychological sequelae specific to racialized and ethnicised torture and inhumane treatment by police and security services on torture victims and what, if any, implications they have for victim rehabilitation treatment.

Deadline for submissions

30th DECEMBER, 2021

For more information

Contact Editor-in-chief ( and Guest-Editor ( if you wish to explore the suitability of a paper to the Special Section.

Submission guidelines and links

To make a submission, navigate here:

Author guidelines can be found here:

Read more about the Torture Journal here:

For general submission guidelines, please see the Torture Journal website. Papers will be selected on their relevance to the field, applicability, methodological rigor, and level of innovation.

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Current Issue

Vol. 31 No. 1 (2021): Torture: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture

Pau Pérez-Sales introduces this issue with an Editorial which conceptualises and documents threats in the context of ill-treatment and torture. He provides a theoretical reflection on what threats are, what types exist and how they impact the survivor from a medical and psychological perspective, providing a framework of understanding that will hopefully improve conceptual and practical assessment, documentation and qualification.

Ergün Cakal continues with a discussion on the characterisation of threats as psychological torture in international law. His paper suggests that an assessment of the perception of practice and proximity of state authorities to harm could help qualify such threats as torturous.

This issue continues with the contribution from Nicholas Nelson et al. who present a cross-sectional study on patterns of torture among forcibly displaced Eritrean men in the US. This is the first study of its kind and provides valuable data on prevalent  methods, and clinical impacts in a sample of 59 survivors assessed using the Istanbul Protocol.

Following the call for contributions from the Journal, Juliet Cohen et al. present preliminary data on remote medico-legal assessment by telephone during Covid-19, showing that it can be safely used with some special considerations assessed in the paper. We are now expecting results from the comparison with the video assessment.

Vipin Vijay et al. present a qualitative study on the experiences of survivors of commercial sexual exploitation at RP homes in India with an analysis of the elements that facilitate the rehabilitation according to the vice of survivors.

The paper by Frank Hofmann et al. describes the implementation of a pilot project on the use of EMDR in children in post-conflict settings conducted in Northern Iraq.

The IRCT conducted an open discussion on Survivor Engagement in the work of Rehabilitation Centers for torture survivors. Berta Soley has summarised the conclusions and included an interview with Lynne Walker that shares how the Tree of Life Trust has incorporated this perspective for more than ten years.

This issue also includes the Letter to the Editor by Jesús Antona which exposes the proneness of Chilean democracy, exposing the Catrillanca case and the Temucuicui community arrest.

In recent months, during a year when organisations that provide services for survivors of torture faced new challenges during the global COVID-19 pandemic, some of the people who have been leading the anti-torture movement for years have passed. We have paid tribute to Javier Enriquez Sam (1960-2021), Gerald “Jerry” Gray (1935-2020), Sister Jean Abbott (1943-2021), Jose María “Chato” Galante (1948-2020), Gianfranco De Maio (1963-2020) and Sister Dianna Ortiz (1958-2021). Many more people have left us in these months, but let the testimony of Javier, Jerry, Jean, Chato, Gianfranco and Dianna serve as a tribute. They have left behind them a light that we will try to follow.

Finally, this issue also includes the forthcoming call for papers for the special section on racism, ethnocentrism and torture by police and security services.

Published: 2021-05-11

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The Torture Journal is an international scientific journal that provides an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of original research and systematic reviews by professionals concerned with the biomedical, psychological and social interface of torture and the rehabilitation of its survivors.