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In Wake of ICRC Report, Health Professionals Must Be Held Accountable for Torture
Date:4/7/2009

target="_blank" title="non-partisan commission">non-partisan commission to probe these crimes."

PHR helped create the ethical prohibitions against health professional participation in national security interrogations. Consistent with previous PHR findings, the ICRC report concludes that "the interrogation process is contrary to international law and the participation of health personnel in such a process is contrary to international standards of medical ethics." The ICRC report also finds that "their primary purpose appears to have been to serve the interrogation process, and not the patient. In so doing the health personnel have condoned, and participated in ill-treatment."

In a report released last year, Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by US Personnel and Its Impact, former detainees medically evaluated by PHR reported similar instances of medical complicity in torture. Hafez, an Iraqi detainee who was held at Abu Ghraib, reports that his arm was dislocated during an abusive interrogation. He states that an individual, whom he believed was a doctor, put his arm back in place and told the interrogators to "continue".

Since 2005, PHR has documented the systematic use of psychological torture by the US during its interrogations of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Additionally, PHR has worked to mobilize the health professional community, particularly the professional associations, such as the American Medical Association, to adopt strong ethical prohibitions against direct participation in interrogations. PHR is a 1997 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Contact: Jonathan Hutson, Cell: 857-919-5130

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