When President Obama signed an Executive Order on his second day in office mandating a uniform standard for all US interrogations, the human rights community was relieved and gratified. Years of advocacy to end torture and abuse of detainees had finally paid off.
In an immigration detention system known for its disregard of even basic needs, Francisco Castaneda's case stands out as a prime example of the US government’s indifference to health and human rights.
In 2009, J-H- was an asylum seeker living in Phoenix, Arizona. J-H- is a survivor of female genital cutting (FGC) in her African homeland.
Walked across the desert for three days, with only a canteen of water for subsistence. Arrested and severely beaten for peaceful political organizing, suffering a miscarriage and emergency hysterectomy. Left for dead by a police firing squad, then forced to hide in the wilderness for two months awaiting an opportunity to escape the country undetected. The journey to the US, so often fraught with dangers like these, poses grave health risks to many immigrants.
Salon.com's Mark Benjamin recently covered PHR's analysis of US government torture and interrogation policy documents, declassified since President Obama took office. In his review of documents, PHR Medical Advisor Scott Allen, MD, found alarming evidence of bad applications of scientific knowledge and gross ethical misconduct by medical personnel in interrogations of terror suspects in US custody.