There were no laws or rules to protect the treatment of prisoners who faced torture, such as the Water Torture. Torture was seen as a totally legitimate means for justice to extract confessions, obtain the names of accomplices, obtain testimonies or confessions.
Method of inflicting the Water Torture
Different types of torture were used depending on the victim's crime and social status. There were also different tortures used according to the customs of each country. In France torture by drowning was practised and described as follows:
In Paris, for a long time, the water torture was in use; this was the most easily borne, and the least dangerous. A person undergoing it was tied to a board which was supported horizontally on two trestles. By means of a horn, acting as a funnel, and whilst his nose was being pinched, so as to force him to swallow, they slowly poured four coquemars (about nine pints) of water into his mouth; this was for the ordinary torture. For the extraordinary, double that quantity was poured in . When the torture was ended, the victim was untied, "and taken to be warmed in the kitchen," says the old text.