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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

Response:
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

Co-Sponsors:

  • 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)

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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!

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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.

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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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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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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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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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