• Experiments in Torture cover

    Experiments in Torture is the first report to reveal evidence indicating that CIA medical personnel allegedly engaged in the crime of illegal experimentation after 9/11, in addition to the previously disclosed crime of torture. In their attempt to justify the war crime of torture, the CIA appears to have committed another alleged war crime—illegal experimentation on prisoners.

    Download the white paper (PDF)

  • Aiding Torture cover

    Aiding Torture, published by PHR in August 2009, examines specifics of the May 2004 CIA Inspector General's Report, which demonstrated that health professionals played a leading role in establishing an unethical medical premise upon which attorneys rationalized an illegal program of torture.

    Download the white paper (PDF)

  • Broken Laws, Broken Lives cover

    In Broken Laws, Broken Lives, published by PHR in June 2008, we have for the first time medical evidence to confirm first-hand accounts of men who endured torture by US personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay. These men were never charged with any crime.

    Download the executive summary (PDF)
    Download the report (PDF)

  • Leave No Marks cover

    Leave No Marks, published in August 2007 by PHR and Human Rights First, demonstrated that "enhanced" interrogation techniques are likely to cause severe or serious physical and mental harm to detainees. It shows that the authorization of these enhanced interrogation techniques, whether practiced alone or in combination, may constitute torture and/or cruel and inhuman treatment, and may place interrogators at serious legal risk of prosecution for war crimes and other violations.

    Download the executive summary (PDF)
    Download the report (PDF)

  • Break Them Down cover

    Break Them Down, published by PHR in May 2005, was the first comprehensive review of the use of psychological torture by US forces, examining the devastating health consequences of psychological coercion and explaining how a regime of psychological torture was put into place in the US "war on terror".

    Download the report (PDF)


8 More Organizations Join OHRP Complaint

National Organizations

  • Leadership Conference of Women Religious (Silver Spring, MD)
  • New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good (Washington, DC)
  • Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (Washington, DC)
  • Church of the Brethren
  • United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

State Organizations

  • Progressive Christians Uniting (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Pennsylvania Council of Churches
  • School of the Americas Watch – Los Angeles

Live From All Saints Pasadena: First Do No Harm: The Role of Medical Professionals in US-Sponsored Torture

Stream the the Sunday, June 27 event live, starting at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern.

Online TV Shows by Ustream


California Event: First Do No Harm

Please join PHR, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture and community partners for:

LA flier - First Do No Harm: The Role of Medical Professionals in US-Sponsored Torture

First Do No Harm:

The Role of Medical Professionals 
in US-Sponsored Torture

Sunday, June 27, 2010 7:00-8:30 pm (Pacific Time)
All Saints Church
132 N. Euclid, Pasadena, CA 91101

Join the LA community for an evening of discussion and dialogue to mark the International Day of Support for Victims of Torture.

Tune in tomorrow, when we will post live streaming video from the event, which will also be available here.

This event focuses on the new PHR report, Experiments in Torture: Evidence of Human Subject Experimentation in the 'Enhanced' Interrogation Program. This will be one of three national events in faith communities focused on this report.

Keynote Speaker:
John Bradshaw, JD, Director of Policy, Experiments in Torture co-author, Physicians for Human Rights

Ed Bacon, Rector, All Saints Church-Pasadena

Panel Discussion Moderated by:
Eisha Mason, American Friends Service Committee

Sponsored by:
National Religious Campaign Against Torture | Los Angeles Region Religious Campaign Against Torture | Physicians for Human Rights | American Friends Service Committee–Pacific Southwest Region | Program for Torture Victims | All Saints Church–Pasadena


  • Rabbis for Human Rights–North America,
  • Progressive Christians Uniting,
  • School of the Americas Watch–Los Angeles

Further Information: 818-225-0410 or vclassick at aol dot com

Download the event flyer (PDF)


7 More Religious Organizations Join OHRP Complaint

National Organizations

  • Disciples Justice Action Network (Washington, DC)
  • Conference of Major Superiors of Men (Silver Spring, MD)
  • Islamic Society of North America (Washington, DC)
  • North American Old Catholic Church (Washington, DC)

State Organizations

  • Hartford Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Hartford, CT)
  • Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church (Cedar Park, TX)
  • Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Santa Fe, NM)

Our thanks to all these organizations for their support. View the full list of supporting organizations. If your organization would like to sign onto the OHRP complaint, contact Sarah Kalloch, PHR Director of Outreach.


22 Organizations Support PHR’s Complaint to the Office of Human Research Protections

On June 9, Physicians for Human Rights had 7 organizations joining us as co-signers of our complaint to the Office of Human Research Protections regarding evidence of CIA violations of the Common Rule. Today, nine days later, the number of supporting organizations has swelled to 22! Here is the current list:

  • Physicians for Human Rights
  1. AfterDowningStreet
  2. Amnesty International USA
  3. Bill of Rights Defense Committee
  4. Center for Constitutional Rights
  5. Center for Victims of Torture
  6. CodePink
  7. Friends Committee on National Legislation
  8. Human Rights Watch
  9. Interfaith Communities United for Justice & Peace (ICUJP)
  10. International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims
  11. Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
  12. National Accountability Action Network
  13. National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA
  14. National Religious Campaign Against Torture
  15. Network of Concerned Anthropologists
  16. Program for Torture Victims (PTV)
  17. Progressive Democrats of America
  18. Psychologists for Social Responsibility
  19. Rabbis for Human Rights-North America
  20. The Provincial Council of the Clerics of St. Viator (Viatorians)
  21. United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
  22. WarIsACrime

We know this list will continue to grow, so we’ve added a page on The Torture Papers that we’ll keep up to date with all of the groups demanding an investigation into evidence of illegal CIA experimentation on detainees.

Don’t forget that individuals can sign onto the complaint, too!


Experiments in Torture: Action and Media Recap

Last Monday, June 7, PHR released Experiments in Torture: Human Subject Research and Experimentation in the “Enhanced” Interrogation Program to immediate, overwhelming response.

Upon release of the report, PHR issued a statement and held a press conference. In the first 24 hours, PHR received over 467 press mentions. Major press covering the story on day 1 included the New York Times, Nature, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Mother Jones, Huffington Post, Washington Independent, Scientific American and Alternet. The report was featured on the front page of the Daily Kos and Boing Boing—two of the most heavily trafficked blogs on the internet—as well as on the prestigious legal affairs blog, Balkinization, on the highly influential blog Hullabaloo, and on numerous other notable blogs, including, Firedoglake (multiple bloggers), Religion Dispatches, The American Prospect, On Faith (Washington Post) and Political Animal.

News of the report also ran on numerous major network local TV and radio news shows around the country. [display_podcast]

nyt eit ed

On Tuesday, June 8, PHR’s report was the subject of the lead editorial of the New York Times. Day 2 coverage also included The Nation, New York Observer, LA Times, New Scientist, Inter Press Service and fulsome treatments by bloggers Andrew Sullivan (at The Atlantic) and Glenn Greenwald (at Salon.com), who are both widely read and highly influential for new media and mainstream news, alike.

On Wednesday, PHR, along with 9 other groups submitted a formal complaint to the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP). We issued a new statement and held another press conference—and attracted a new round of press coverage, with at least 200 press outlets covering the story, including wire stories on AFP and AP and detailed reporting on The Great Beyond blog from Nature.com.

Our OHRP complaint was co-signed by Amnesty International USA, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Center for Constitutional Rights, Center for Victims of Torture, Human Rights Watch, International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Network of Concerned Anthropologists and Psychologists for Social Responsibility.

Anyone can file an OHRP complaint, so we’ve opened ours to the public in cooperation with a number of our partner organizations. If you haven’t signed on yet, please do.

Also on Wednesday, the office of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who is chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, released a statement to blogger Jeff Kaye: “the findings of the new report from Physicians for Human Rights will be considered,” Feinstein said, in the Committee’s review of the CIA detention and interrogation program.

By the end of the week on Friday, PHR was mentioned nearly 900 times in press source and had over 9000 total downloads of Experiments in Torture. The report authors have been interviewed numerous times for print, radio and TV. We’ve posted a few of their appearances on The Torture Papers.

A number of outside academic experts have spoken supportively on the record about PHR’s evidence and the allegation of experimentation, including, Olivier Ribbelink, researcher at the Asser Institute in The Hague; Jonathan D. Moreno, a professor of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania; Paul Root Wolpe, director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia; and Nancy Berlinger, a research scholar who studies clinical ethics at The Hastings Center in Garrison, New York.

Many thanks to all who have blogged, reported, tweeted, signed onto the OHRP complaint, sent our links to colleagues and otherwise responded to the pressing nature of our findings in Experiments in Torture.

Stay tuned for more developments.


Podcast: Scott Allen, MD, on NPR

Lead medical author of Experiments in Torture, Scott Allen, MD, recently appeared on his local NPR station, WRNI, to discuss the new PHR report.


Senate Intelligence Committee Considers PHR Report

The Senate Intelligence Committee has announced that the allegations in PHR’s report that the CIA may have engaged in illegal experimentation on detainees will be evaluated as part of its inquiry into  the CIA’s interrogation and detention program. In a written statement to blogger Jeff Kaye, the office of Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) stated:

The Senate Intelligence Committee is conducting a review of the CIA detention and interrogation program. This review includes both the use of CIA medical personnel in administering coercive interrogation techniques and the effects of prolonged detention on the individuals in CIA custody. This is the most detailed and comprehensive review of the CIA detention and interrogation program ever conducted. The findings of the new report from Physicians for Human Rights will be considered in our review, and I will have further comment on this when the report is completed.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has oversight responsibility for the activities of the CIA and has been conducting a review of the “enhanced” interrogation program and other detention practices for a number of months.

PHR welcomes this scrutiny of our report and sees it as a promising sign that the Senate Intelligence Committee is committed to a serious and thorough assessment of all aspects of the CIA interrogation program.


Author Sightings

Allen Keller, MD, Discusses PHR Report at “Blueprint for Accountability”

John Bradshaw, JD, on Russia Today, Russian television


Did the CIA Experiment on People? Demand an Investigation!

PHR’s new report, Experiments in Torture, has sent shock waves through the conscience of America this week. This report reveals evidence indicating that the Bush administration may have conducted illegal and unethical human experimentation and research on detainees in CIA custody.

This research, if proven to have occurred, could violate the Geneva Conventions, The Common Rule, the Nuremberg Code and other international and domestic prohibitions against illegal human subject research and experimentation. Not only are these alleged acts gross violations of human rights law, they are a grave affront to America’s core values.

Elected officials have failed in their duty to investigate potential CIA wrongdoing. It’s time to get the experts involved.

Join PHR as we file a complaint with the Office of Human Research Protection, demanding an investigation into these alleged abuses.

Physicians for Human Rights, together with Amnesty International, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Center for Victims of Torture, Human Rights Watch, the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Network of  Concerned Anthropologists and Psychologists for Social Responsibility, has filed a complaint based on evidence of  CIA experimentation with the Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP). The complaint demands that OHRP launch a full investigation into possible human experimentation by the CIA.

The OHRP, which is part of the US Department of Health & Human Services, is responsible for ensuring that federally funded research involving human subjects complies with scientific and human rights-based regulations. OHRP has a long history of sanctioning powerful institutions that violate US law protecting human subjects in research.

Take action now by joining the OHRP complaint. Anyone world-wide can officially join the complaint just by signing the petition. You will add your name to a list of thousands of people calling for justice. You will not be asked to come to court, nor will you need to take further action. By signing your name, you will have demanded an official investigation into deeply disturbing allegations of illegal CIA experimentation on detainees.

The integrity of America’s commitment to human rights and rule of law stands in the balance. Sign on to the OHRP complaint today.

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