PHR's work in the US addresses the involvement of US military and government personnel and of health professionals in the torture of detainees.
The doctor members of PHR's Asylum Network offer pro bono evaluations in support of the claims of people seeking asylum in the US, of torture and abuse in their home countries.
Evaluating Asylum Seekers: An Interview with Dr. Arno Vosk (SampsoniaWay.org, May 9, 2013)
Asylum Network volunteer Dr. Vosk discusses the role coincidence plays in keeping asylum seekers alive, his method of assessing trauma via an individual’s scars, and the difficulties people face when seeking refuge in the US, where “fearfulness and rejection of immigrants have become an accepted part of national policy.”
As the hunger strike continues at the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) stressed the need for the Obama administration to immediately stop the unethical force feeding of detainees on hunger strikes.
PHR applauds the publication today of a bipartisan independent report that supports PHR’s longstanding contention that the interrogation and treatment of many detainees in US custody since 9/11 amounted to torture.
Free Guantánamo Detainees Who Are Cleared for Release (April 10, 2013)
As a hunger strike by dozens of detainees held at Guantánamo Bay enters its third month, PHR calls on President Obama to take immediate steps to free those who have been cleared for release and to treat remaining detainees in conformance with ethical guidelines and international law.
Failing to Heal: Hunger Strikes in Guantánamo and the Role of Medical Professionals (April 30, 2013)
In a recently released bipartisan report on detainee treatment at the detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the Constitution Project’s Expert Task Force devotes a whole chapter to the spectacular failure of medical professionals in GTMO to protect detainees from harm or injustice.
Anti-Torture Update: Take Action to End Torture (January 3, 2013)
January 11, 2013, marks the 11th anniversary of the day detainees were first brought to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The National Defense Authorization Act 2013 (NDAA) recently passed by Congress and signed by President Obama does little to shut down the Guantanamo prison, though the President had promised to close it almost four years ago.
Obama 2.0: Will Plans for immigration Reform Address Needs of the Most Vulnerable? (November 29, 2012)
There is a broad consensus that our immigration system is in desperate need of an overhaul. Comprised of a hopelessly complicated patchwork of laws enacted in response to events like the 1993 World Trade Center bombings and the 9/11 attacks, the immigration system creates narrow pathways for some immigrants to come to or remain in the United States, while making it almost impossibly hard for others, including many fleeing torture and persecution.
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Limits Solitary Confinement (November 28, 2012)
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court yesterday ruled that holding an inmate for 10 months in solitary confinement with only periodic informal review of his custody was unlawful. ... While stopping short of prohibiting the use of solitary confinement, the court’s ruling firmly establishes that inmates are entitled to a mechanism for challenging their placement in solitary.
President Obama Urged to Coordinate Executive Branch Response to Senate Committee's Study on CIA Interrogation Program (May 2013)
PHR has joined seven other NGOs, including the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, The Center for Victims of Torture, and others, to urge President Obama to make sure the Executive Branch response to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence study is not driven by individuals who might be implicated in the CIA’s use of torture.
Solitary confinement is a form of segregation in which people are held in total or near-total isolation in small cells for 23 hours a day. It is used to control and discipline detainees in federal and state prisons, local jails, and immigration and national security detention facilities. Unlike incarcerated prisoners, immigration and national security detainees are held not as punishment for a crime but as a preventive measure, and will likely never be charged with a crime. For these people, solitary confinement then becomes entirely punitive, with dire consequences for their mental and physical health.
Two Senators and 22 Representatives jointly signed a letter to the King of Bahrain today, calling on him to pardon eight medical professionals convicted for providing medical care to injured protesters.
Invisible in Isolation (September 2012)
Immigrants in detention facilities around the United States are often subjected to punitive and long-term solitary confinement and denied meaningful avenues of appeal, according to an investigation by PHR and Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC).