Physicians for Human Rights call for investigations of health provider involvement in detainee abuse; Calls for APA to pass moratorium
December 14th, 2007
A recent email from Physicians for Human Rights calls upon Congress, the Justice Department, and major professional organizations to investigate the participation of physicians and psychologists in abusive interrogation. PHR also call upon the American Psychological Association to pass a moratorium on psychologist involvement in national security interrogations. Here is the email:
You have probably seen recent news reports about the CIA’s destruction of video recordings of interrogations allegedly showing the use of aterboarding and other “enhanced” interrogation techniques. Last week, HR released a statement, calling on the Attorney General and Congress to immediately launch independent investigations into both the alleged destruction of evidence of torture and the “enhanced” interrogation program itself. As PHR noted in our report Leave No Marks, waterboarding and other techniques can constitute war crimes.
Recent statements on ABC News and the Today Show by former CIA operative John Kiriakou allege that doctors were present during the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, which involved the use of sleep deprivation and waterboarding. PHR is calling for the Department of Justice, Congress and major health professional associations to conduct legal and ethical investigations. Those investigations must determine how physicians and psychologists participated in harsh interrogations as monitors and interrogators.
We continue to urge the American Psychological Association (APA) to place a moratorium on the participation of its members in all national security interrogations. Though PHR applauded the APA’s passage of a resolution this August stating that the tactics used by the CIA are unethical, the APA can take more steps to protect detainees from harm and US personnel from engaging in illegal abuse. PHR is asking the APA to follow the examples of the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association in refusing to allow its members to engage in abusive interrogations.
Finally, the House yesterday passed a bill which would make the Army Field Manual the unified standard for detainee treatment, prohibiting the CIA’s “enhanced” interrogation program. Now it must go before the full Senate.
I’ll be in touch again soon.
Chief Executive Officer