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NYPL / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NYPL / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The Amboyna massacre was the 1623 torture and execution on Ambon Island (Maluku, Indonesia) of 20 men, including 10 in the service of the English East India Company, and Japanese and Portuguese traders, by agents of the Dutch East India Company, on accusations of treason. In most, but not all, cases torture was used during the questioning. Torture consisted of having water poured over the head, around which a cloth was draped, bringing the interrogated repeatedly close to suffocation (waterboarding). According to Dutch trial records, most suspects confirmed that they were guilty as charged. Those that confessed were sentenced to death. Six were pardoned, but on March 9, 1623 the others were beheaded, and Towerson was impaled on a pole for all to see.
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