Federal Border Patrol agents aren’t the only people scouring the US-Mexico border in search of immigrants illegally crossing the border, joining their ranks are groups of armed private citizens. These citizens claim to support law enforcement by protecting America from the security threat of uncontrolled immigration. Groups such as the Minuteman Project, Ranch Rescue, and the American Border Patrol claim to “operate within the law,” yet they regularly violate both domestic and international law.
Due to the relatively closed nature of the system, there is very little publicly available data detailing the extent of sexual abuse in immigration detention centers. However, recently uncovered documents reveal nearly 200 official complaints of sexual abuse in detention facilities since 2007. This number is probably just the tip of the iceberg given that sexual abuse is one of the most underreported crimes in the US.
For his first official investigation as the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Juan Mendez chose to tackle the question of whether the use of solitary confinement amounts to torture.
Doctors of the Dark Side will premiere at Georgetown University Law Center this coming Monday, October 24, 2011, at 6:30pm. The film documents the critical role that physicians and psychologists played in the torture of detainees in US custody, an issue which PHR has been investigating and reporting on for several years in attempt to prevent future abuse of detainees and similar ethical violations.
Access to clean water is considered a basic human right- just like the right to food and the right to live without torture, but a new law means undocumented people in Alabama may be incarcerated for a decade for trying to access running water for their homes.