Center for Victims of Torture Available for Comment on Torture and Cruel Treatment in Zero Dark Thirty

Thursday, January 3, 2013

WHAT: Even before its nationwide release on January 11, 2013, Zero Dark Thirty has renewed the national debate about the use of the torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in U.S. counterterrorism efforts.  The Center for Victims of Torture™ (CVT), an international nongovernmental organization based in Minnesota dedicated to healing victims of torture, is available for expert comment on the torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment depicted in the film.

CVT provides comprehensive care for victims of government-sponsored torture, conducts research and training, and undertakes policy efforts to commit the U.S. and other institutions to work against torture and aid torture survivors.  CVT’s knowledge and experience give it a unique perspective on the devastation torture a cruel treatment inflict on individuals and communities, and how torture is used to instill fear in societies and repress dissent. Hollywood’s depiction of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment needs to be separated from the known medical, scientific and clinical facts and should not be misconstrued as to what torture is and how it is actually used in the world. 

CVT and other torture rehabilitation professionals know from their expertise that abusive interrogation methods, including waterboarding, beatings, stress positions, isolation, and sexual humiliation, are used in combination to increase the severity of the pain. “We know that the kinds of abuse shown in the film are forms of torture, and we’ve treated survivors who suffered the same kinds of abuse,” said Curt Goering, executive director of CVT. “They are frequently used in combination to increase the pain, and we know from the medical, scientific and clinical evidence that they cause long-lasting health effects.”

SPOKESPERSON:  Curt Goering, executive director of CVT, is available to speak on why such abuse constitutes torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and on what audiences should keep in mind if they watch Zero Dark Thirty.

Brad Robideau
brobideau [at]

Media Contact

Jenni Bowring-McDonough
Media Relations Manager
+1 612-436-4886 (office) or +1 651-226-3858 (mobile)
Journalists:  If you’d like to receive CVT press releases, please email your request to Jenni Bowring-McDonough at jbowring [at]




We heal victims of torture through unique services and professional care worldwide.

Read More


We strengthen partners who heal torture survivors and work to prevent torture.

Read More


We advocate for the protection & care of torture survivors and an end to torture.

Read More