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LOCAL Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights

Sleep Depervation is Torture

Santa Cruz's dirty little secret is the war on the poor and the use of "abnormal sleep deprivation".
Hypocrisy on Human Rights Day

Santa Cruz City Sleeping Ban:
Muni Code 6.36.010a To sleep at any time between the hours of 11 p.m. & 8:30 a.m. in any of the following places: (1) Outdoors with or without bedding, tent, ham-mock, or other similar protection or equipment; (2)In, on, or under any structure not intended for human occupancy, whether with or without bedding, tent, hammock, or other similar protection or equipment; (3) in, on, or under any parked vehicle, including an automobile, bus, truck, camper, trailer, or recreational vehicle.

Sleep Deprivation is Torture:
• Article 5 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.?
• The U.S. Army Field Manual FM 34-52 describes "abnormal sleep deprivation" as a form of mental torture.
• The Department of Defense currently uses “sleep adjustment? (altering the sleep cycles of detainees by reversing day and night to induce disorientation similar to jet lag. Commanders at Abu Ghraib were authorized to implement sleep-adjustment techniques for up to 72 hours. The DOD Working Group defined "sleep deprivation" as "keeping the detainee awake for an extended period of time (allowing individual to rest briefly and then awakening him, repeatedly) NOT to exceed four days in succession." In Santa Cruz, it is LEGAL for homeless people to sleep during the day, but not at night.
• The European Court of Human Rights and the Supreme Court of Israel have ruled sleep deprivation inhumane and unlawful.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Physical, Psychological, or Other Effects: Moderate sleep deprivation can impair cognitive functions including memory, learning, logical reasoning, arithmetic skills, verbal processing, and decision-making. Prolonged sleep deprivation causes attention deficits, short-term memory problems, speech impairment, and other ailments. According to a study by Physicians for Human Rights, a group based in Cambridge, Mass., this tactic can also cause high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease and exacerbate existing ailments. Another study found that sleep deprivation can reduce an individual's tolerance for pain and ability to resist suggestion.
 
 


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