Although it may sound surreal, torture by air-conditioner has been used as a method of interrogation by a number of authorities over many years. It leaves behind no evidence of physical abuse, and is an effective method of extracting information.

Torture by air-conditioner was reportedly used by the Chinese authorities against practitioners of Falun Gong; the Singapore police force to extract confessions from murder suspects; and by the Israeli authorities interrogating Palestinian suspects. In 1999 the Israeli Supreme Court banned the use of air-conditioners as a method of interrogation.

In the case of Zainal Kuning, a manual laborer in Singapore in 1989, torture by air-conditioner was used to extract a confession from him - that he had stabbed an elderly caretaker to death in a botched robbery attempt. He confessed to a crime that he was later proved innocent of, despite knowing that the penalty for the crime would be to have him hanged. After being taken in for questioning, the officers demanded that he confess. After being questioned for 7 hours without food or water, and desperately needing to urinate, his handcuffs were removed and he was pushed into the shower.

"Still dripping, he was led back to the inspector's office, and made to stand on a chair and hold two telephone directories at arm's length. The officers sat at a table in front of him. Behind them was the instrument of torture - the air-conditioner...For the next fourteen hours, Zainal testified, he was forced to stand in front of the air-conditioner, holding the telephone directories... Every hour or so he was marched back to the shower and drenched again." --Chris Lydgate, "Lee's Law"

Leaving no scars or any physical evidence to prove that any torture has taken place, it is little wonder that allegations of torture by air-conditioner are so widespread. To stand, dripping with water, in front of one of these powerful atmospheric cooling systems is to suffer a unique form of agony.

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