The numerous scars marking his arms, legs, back, chest, and face told the story of the horrific, state-sponsored torture that Mr. A had endured. Mr. A, a 25-year-old man from a small country in West Africa, was persecuted because his HIV/AIDS advocacy contradicted a false “presidential cure” contrived by the ruling regime. On multiple occasions, military police detained Mr. A in a squalid prison where they beat him with metal cables, wooden rods, and plastic clubs; battered him with the butts of their AK-47 rifles; threatened to feed him to the president's crocodiles; simulated drowning by forcibly holding his head underwater; chained his wrists and ankles for hours on end; deprived him of food and water for days at a time; and stripped away his dignity through a variety of other tactics.

Each year, tens of thousands of individuals...

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