gymnastics, used as a torture method by communists
...As the KGB had demonstrated, it was possible
to inflict terrifying pain on a subject, and break his will
to resist, without necessary touching him -- simply by compelling
him, under threat of direct physical assault, to maintain
a stress position for a protracted time. Interrogators may
force a subject to stand, crouch, hold one's arms overhead
or at the sides for long periods; they may involve force him
to do endless deep knee bends, as was required of some detainees
at Abu Ghraib.
"The frog," a variation of this last method, was used by Romanian
Communists to break down the resistance of young Christian
rebels sent to re-education camps.
In his memoir The Anti-Humans, Romanian anti-Communist Dumitru
Bacu (a pseudonym) writes of how "the frog" was used in the
"cycle of tortures" employed against those deemed to be "fanatics"
in their resistance to the new regime.
"One of the tests for the fanatical students was forced gymnastics,
especially the semi-squat or `frog,'" writes Bacu. "To touch
the heels with the buttocks was not permitted, and the hands
had to be held laterally the whole time, stretched out, or
raised high above the head. During this semi-squat posture,
the student had to raise and lower himself in time to a rhythm
set by the re-educator by hitting on wood with a stick hours
on end, uninterruptedly." "Normally and without any coercion,"
he continues, "a man in good physical condition can do up
to fifty flexions of this kind, after which his legs begin
to stiffen. The student A.D. from the Faculty of Letters in
Bucharest, arrested in 1948 and sentenced to ten years, did
in a single night, above the portable toilet, over one thousand."
Common is Torture?")
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