Wikidata:Property proposal/Manner of torture

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manner of inhumane treatment[edit]

Originally proposed at Wikidata:Property proposal/Person

Descriptionmanner of torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishments as covered by the UN Convention
Representsinhumane treatment (Q65969379)
Data typeItem
Domainitems about people e.g. Q43393739
Allowed valuessubclasses of Q65969379, linked to items e.g. sleep deprivation Q1364801
Allowed unitsnot applicable
Example 1David Steward (Q43393739)sleep deprivation (Q1364801)
Example 2Mary Nein Goune Baike (Q43393702) → hanging by thumbs [Item to be created]
Example 3Jonet McClean (Q43390421)whip (Q152910)
Example 4Jonet Mathie (Q43396176)stocks (Q1484064)
SourceRecorded in Survey of Scottish Witchcraft Database in pre-trial/extrajudicial actions e.g. David Stewart [1]
Planned useTo add the manner of torture employed statement on the accused witches in Scotland items already created.
See alsopenalty [2]


I am working on importing elements of the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft database (1563 to 1736) with a student intern and there is good information on cause of death (P509), manner of death (P1196) for the accused witches in the database but richer still is the information on the manner of torture the witches endured (sleep deprivation etc.). This ill treatment/punishment was extrajudicial in the main, and from which they did not die (so manner of death/cause of death cannot be applied) but ultimately caused them to give their "confessions". The motivation therefore is that there is a gap in that Wikidata could model a method of punishment/torture which would serve historic datasets like this one but also modern instances where someone has undergone torture such as are recorded by Amnesty International. Stinglehammer (talk) 17:37, 22 July 2019 (UTC)


included in that penalty (P1596) is about as close as wikidata has modelled currently BUT penalty is about a judicial sentence whereas this is very much distinguished as an extrajudicicial ill treatment/punishment/torture.Stinglehammer (talk) 16:04, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
  • I believe that we should have a property for this but that we both need a good description and label. Given that the relevant UN treaty is called "United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment" it seems to me like it would be desireable to have a property that not only covers torture but also what's covered in the convention under "Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment" speaks of "The HRC has indicated that the assessment of whether particular treatment constitutes a violation of Article 7 “depends on all circumstances of the case, such as the duration and manner of the treatment, its physical or mental effects as well as the sex, age and state of health of the victim.” This suggest to me that treatment is a hypernym of torture and the other actions that are covered by the treaty. Maybe our label should be "manner of inhumane treatment"? ChristianKl❫ 12:03, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support@ChristianKl: I would support this move as the property should encompass these other instances also in my view. My only question is whether then we have torture - Q132781 as a value of this property and then including the type of torture (e.g. hanging by thumbs) would then be what... another value? or a qualifier on the torture value? OR would we just have 'hanging by thumbs' as the value and it would be treated as a subclass of torture? Happy to amend description and label in any event to something more approaching the UN convention description Stinglehammer (talk) 13:05, 25 July 2019 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support I like this idea and I think just having subclass items of torture seems appropriate. --SilentSpike (talk) 15:37, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support--UltimoGrimm (talk) 11:15, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support Given that torture does seem to be a subclass of inhuman treatments I changed the label to "manner of inhuman treatment". I removed "Property to model" from the description as our descriptions usually don't have that form. I like referencing the UN Convention in the description. I created inhumane treatment (Q65969379) as the item that hypernym that can be used for the constraint. ChristianKl❫ 16:30, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
I assume you meant inhumane ? I've corrected the spelling for the proposed label and the associated item. ArthurPSmith (talk) 17:46, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for fixing the spelling. ChristianKl❫ 06:51, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
@Stinglehammer: would you mind adding examples using our usual format, "subject -> value"? See Wikidata:Property_proposal/Acknowledgments for an example of proposal that does this correctly. At the moment your examples only show example values, not on which items these values would be appropriately used. − Pintoch (talk) 19:53, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Have added in the examples requested. Can we create? Stinglehammer (talk) 14:56, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Just as an addendum, we also have rich information on the 5 types of 'ordeal' the accused witches underwent. where ordeal is defined as "test conducted in order to let nature or God reveal the truth. It was technically distinct from torture, although many ordeals involved painful procedures".
  1. Bierricht (corpse bleeds): corpse bleeds when touched by person who was guilty of the murder
  2. Ducking: otherwise known as the water test. The accused person was put in water to see if they floated. If they sank they were seen to be innocent and efforts were made to rescue the suspect. If they floated they were seen to be guilty. This test was rarely used in Scotland.
  3. Pricking: the body of the suspect witch was pricked with pins in order to find a Devil’s mark. Learned belief said that the Devil’s mark was left on the body of the witch after she or he had sealed a pact with the Devil. It was believed to be insensitive to pain. Often moles, warts or other visible skin blemishes were tested and shown to be Devil’s marks.
  4. Searching: searching for Devil’s marks
  5. Victim Fit: used in possession cases to identify the person causing the possession, victim had fit in presence of suspected persecutor.

Unsure therefore whether these ordeals should also be included under this manner of inhumane treatment property or, because they are seen as technically distinct, whether a new property for ordeal by or even significant event (P793) might work better? Stinglehammer (talk) 15:04, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

@ديفيد عادل وهبة خليل 2, ChristianKl, UltimoGrimm, Thierry Caro, ArthurPSmith, SilentSpike: @Stinglehammer, Emmacarroll3, Jheald, Yair rand: ✓ Done: manner of inhumane treatment (P7160). − Pintoch (talk) 16:21, 12 August 2019 (UTC)