Responsabilité du fait personnel
First let us explain what we mean by torture. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy arrives at the conclusion that ‘torture is (a) the intentional infliction of extreme physical suffering on some non-consenting, defenceless person; (b) the intentional, substantial curtailment of the exercise of the person's autonomy (achieved by means of (a)); (c) in general, undertaken for the purpose of breaking the victim's will.’
The physical suffering could sometimes include mental suffering, in situations where the torturer would torture the victim’s parents or children, or if they insist on his phobia. It is always going to be by restricting one’s individual autonomy, as it is implied in the first provision. The torturer cannot apply non consensual extreme physical pain, without exercising power overt the victim’s defenceless body and therefore cutting out the victim’s individual autonomy, by making from its body an object, nothing he can have control of.
In the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman and degrading treatment or Punishing (1984) the UN hold a difference between inhuman treatment and torture. An inhuman treatment doesn’t have to include extreme physical pain, thus it is not literally ‘torture’. However it is still extremely morally wrong and sometimes worse than torture because of its humiliation, human degradation of the individual.
The purpose of torture will be in general to break the victim’s will, in order to get from him informations for example. Sometimes the reason can be punishment, seeking a deterrent effect, but even there it is indirectly breaking someone’s will about something he did wrong which he probably believes right.