• 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)

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Podcast: Press Conference on Joint Complaint to Office of Human Research Protections

Yesterday, on Wednesday, June 9, PHR and seven partner organizations held a press conference to announce our joint filing of a complaint to the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) at the Department of Health and Human Services. We requested that OHRP investigate alleged CIA human experimentation on detainees.

PHR CEO Frank Donaghue opened the briefing:

Today Physicians for Human Rights is joined by colleagues from seven leading health, human rights, religious and legal groups to demand federal investigation of alleged human experimentation on detainees.

Representatives are on the call from Amnesty International, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Center for Constitutional Rights, Center for Victims of Torture, Human Rights Watch, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, and Psychologists for Social Responsibility.

Thank you to each of you for standing with Physicians for Human Rights at this critical juncture in the fight for accountability for torture.

These groups represent hundreds of thousands of Americans who want accountability for torture committed by the United States since September 11th, 2001, and want to ensure that these abuses never happen again.

The complaint being filed this morning with the Office of Human Research Protection at the Department of Health and Human Services, known as OHRP, is an important response to one specific and chilling aspect of the Bush administration’s program of torture: Evidence of human research and experimentation on detainees.

The other speakers were:

  • Nathaniel Raymond, Director of Campaign Against Torture, PHR
  • Stephen Soldz, President-elect of Psychologists for Social Responsibility
  • Steven H. Miles, MD, Board member, Center for Victims of Torture
  • Gitanjali S. Gutierrez, Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights
  • Tom Parker, Policy Director, Terrorism, Counterterrorism and Human Rights at Amnesty International
  • Rev. Richard L. Killmer, Executive Director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture
  • Shahid Buttar, Executive Director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee
  • Andrea Prasow, Senior Counterterrorism Counsel, Human Rights Watch

You can hear their remarks and answers to questions form the press in the podcast, below.

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Nathaniel Raymond and Allen Keller, MD, on Democracy Now

On Tuesday, June 8, Experiments in Torture lead author, Nathaniel Raymond, and co-author, Allen Kller, MD, appeared on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman.

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Podcast: Experiments in Torture Press Conference

On Monday morning, June 7, after PHR released Experiments in Torture, most of the report authors gathered for a press conference. The speakers are:

  • Frank Donaghue, PHR CEO (Introduction)
  • Nathaniel Raymond, lead authoer
  • Allen Keller, MD, co-author
  • John Bradshaw, JD, co-author
  • Scott Allen, MD, lead medical author
  • Steven Reiser, PhD, co-author
  • Stephen Soldz, PhD, co-author
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Letter to US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius

PHR Calls on Secretary Sebelius to Restore the Damaged Regime of US Human Subject Research Protections

On June 9, 2010, on release of its report Experiments in Torture: Evidence of Human Subject Research and Experimentation in the “Enhanced” Interrogation Program, Physicians for Human Rights called on US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, to restore the damaged regime of US human subject research protections. PHR wrote to Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius to urge that HHS take immediate action to fully investigate evidence indicating that the “enhanced interrogation” program carried out after September 11, 2001 involved physicians, psychologists, and other health professionals in conducting apparently unethical research and experimentation using detainees as human subjects.

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Human Rights, Health, and Religious Groups File Federal Complaint Against CIA Based on New Evidence Indicating Human Experimentation on Detainees

June 9, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Ben Greenberg
bgreenberg at phrusa dot org
617-510-3417 (mobile)
Contacts for partner organizations appear below.

A broad coalition of human rights, health, and religious groups filed a formal complaint today with the US Department of Health and Human Services Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) against the Central Intelligence Agency. This action is in response to new revelations by Physicians for Human Rights that the CIA allegedly engaged in illegal human subject research and experimentation on detainees as part of Bush-era interrogation practices. The CIA has denied the allegations and has refused to investigate evidence of experimentation presented by Physicians for Human Rights in a report entitled Experiments in Torture: Evidence of Human Subject Research and Experimentation in the “Enhanced” Interrogation Program. The report is available at http://phrtorturepapers.org

The following groups have joined the OHRP complaint so far:

  • Physicians for Human Rights
  • Amnesty International USA
  • Bill of Rights Defense Committee
  • Center for Constitutional Rights
  • Center for Victims of Torture
  • Human Rights Watch
  • National Religious Campaign Against Torture
  • Network of Concerned Anthropologists
  • Psychologists for Social Responsibility

Continue Reading →

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Complaint to Office of Human Research Protections Regarding Evidence of CIA Violations of Common Rule

Today, Physicians for Human Rights has filed the following complaint to the Office of Human Research Protections at the Department of Health and Human Services. Joining PHR in filing this complaint are: Amnesty International USA, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Center for Constitutional Rights, Center for Victims of Torture, Human Rights Watch, National Religious Campaign Against Torture and Psychologists for Social Responsibility.

UPDATE 6/15: By an unfortunate oversight, the Network of Concerned Anthropologists was left off the original complaint though they were one of PHR’s first partners in this campaign. It is a pleasure to acknowledge NCA’s support.

UPDATE 6/10: International Rehabilatation Council for Torture Victims has joined the complaint.

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Letter to President Obama: investigate thoroughly the full scope of the human experimentation

Today, following yesterday’s release of Experiments in Torture, PHR has sent this letter to President Obama to call on him to

investigate thoroughly the full scope of the human experimentation designed and implemented in the post-Sept. 11 period. Victims of research and experimentation perpetrated by the United States must be offered compensation, including health care services, to address ongoing health effects related to the experimentation, and a formal apology.

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Human Rights, Medical and Religious Groups to File Federal Complaint Seeking Investigation of CIA Experiments on Detainees

UPDATE 6/9: Human Rights Watch has joined the coalition of groups submitting the OHRP complaint today.

Media Advisory for: 11 AM EDT on Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Contact:

  • Benjamin Greenberg, Physicians for Human Rights, 617-510-3417, bgreenberg at phrusa dot org
  • Margot Friedman, 202-332-5550, mfriedman at dupontcirclecommunications dot com

Telephone Press Briefing at 11 AM EDT on Wednesday

Evidence Indicates Experiments Were Conducted to Provide Legal Cover for Torture

Washington, D.C. – A coalition of human rights, medical and religious organizations will hold a telephone press conference at 11 a.m. EDT on Wednesday to announce the filing of a complaint with the federal Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) seeking an investigation into human experimentation on detainees by the CIA.

The action follows the release Monday of a report by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) that provides new evidence that health professionals on the CIA payroll performed experiments on detainees in U.S. custody following Sept. 11, 2001 to apparently provide legal cover for torture. That report, Experiments in Torture: Human Subject Research and Evidence of Experimentation in the ‘Enhanced’ Interrogation Program is available at http://phrtorturepapers.org/

The press conference will include representatives from Physicians for Human Rights and the following organizations, as well as other national human rights, medical and religious groups joining PHR in filing the complaint, including:

  • Amnesty International
  • Bill of Rights Defense Committee
  • Center for Constitutional Rights
  • Center for Victims of Torture
  • National Religious Campaign Against Torture and
  • Psychologists for Social Responsibility

The OHRP, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, is responsible for ensuring that federally funded research by federal agencies including the CIA involving human subjects complies with regulations collectively known as the Common Rule. The CIA can not obstruct an OHRP investigation on the basis that evidence may be classified. OHRP has previously taken actions to suspend research activities at major research universities for violation of the Common Rule. Since the Obama administration has not responded to the request to investigate possible incidents of human experimentation on detainees, the groups are seeking an official investigation by the OHRP.

Continue Reading →

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ISNA Joins Religious Leaders to Condemn Illegal Medical Experimentation on Detainees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Source: ISNA (www.isna.net)

(Plainfield, IN – June 7, 2010) A report was issued today by the Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), which details evidence of illegal experimentation on detainees captured after 9-11, in the form of torturous medical experiments, performed by healthcare professionals working for the USMilitary and intelligence agencies during the Bush administration.

The comprehensive PHR report described the methods of “enhanced interrogation techniques” used by medical professionals to determine the “breaking points” for detainees. This information was delivered to the Department of Justice to amend the current laws in a way that legalizes these gross acts of torture and medical negligence from prosecution. ISNA condemns the acts of torture inflicted by these medical professionals. These acts directly violate their sworn oath as physicians to protect human life and alleviate human suffering. ISNA condemns the actions our government to effectively legalize this torture and turn their backs on upholding both the spirit and letter of the constitution.

ISNA praises the Physicians for Human Rights and their dedication to protect all people from illegal and damaging misuse of medical skills and experiments to inflict pain instead of alleviating suffering. ISNA joins Physicians for Human Rights and other religious leaders to demand a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the misuse of medical skills and the acts of the Department of Justice in relation to this case.

ISNA President, Dr. Ingrid Mattson, will join other leaders in a press conference about this issue tomorrow morning.

ISNA is a founding member of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, an organization that also supports the courageous report issued by the Physicians for Human Rights. For more information on the press conference, the PHR Report and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, please visit: http://www.nrcat.org

-End-

Contact:

Sarah Thompson, Communications Coordinator

sthompson dot isna dot net

317-839-8157

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National Religious Leaders Denounce Health Professionals’ Involvement in Experiments on Detainees

Media Advisory For:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 at 11 a.m.

Contact: Rev. Richard Killmer, NRCAT, 202-547-1920, 207-450-7242 or rkillmer@nrcat.org

Alanna Sobel, NRCAT, 202-789-7751 or asobel@fenton.com

(Washington, DC) –Senior religious leaders will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. EDT to respond to the Physicians For Human Rights (PHR) report that provides evidence of the involvement of United States military and intelligence health professionals in performing experiments, without consent, on detainees in the custody of the U.S. following September 2001.

Reporters may either call in or attend the press conference in Meridian B (in the Conference Center on the Concourse level) of the Ronald Reagan building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW in Washington, DC.

The experiments were critical components for the development of a legal framework construed to protect interrogators from prosecution for committing acts of torture. The experiments also served to refine the illegal torture practices used by the US government.

During the press conference, religious leaders of various faiths will:

  • Describe why their faiths lead them to denounce the alleged medical experimentation.
  • Explain why this report is further evidence for a need for a government Commission of Inquiry to investigate the torture practices and policies since 9/11 to assure that torture never happens again.
  • Commit to working together as Jews, Muslims and Christians to heal the brokenness that has been caused.
  • Announce the new video, Accounting for Torture: Being Faithful to our Values, by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture that discusses the need for a Commission of Inquiry in light of the PHR report. The link is www.nrcat.org/act.

WHO:

  • Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary, National Council of Churches
  • Rev. Richard Cizik, President, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good
  • Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
  • Dr. Ingrid Mattson, President, Islamic Society of North America
  • Linda Gustitus, President, National Religious Campaign Against Torture
  • Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director, National Religious Campaign Against Torture who will moderate the call

WHAT: Press conference discussing the nation’s religious community’s reactions to PHR’s new report. Reporters are encouraged to either attend in person or to call in.

WHEN: 11 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 8

The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) is a growing membership organization committed to ending U.S.-sponsored torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Since its formation in January 2006, more than 280 religious groups have joined NRCAT, including representatives from the Catholic, evangelical Christian, mainline Protestant, Unitarian Universalist, Quaker, Orthodox Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Baha’i, Buddhist, and Sikh communities. Members include national denominations and faith groups, regional organizations and local congregations.

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