London’s Summer Olympic Games focused the eyes of the world on Great Britain as it hosted a two-week celebration of international competition, coupled with what seemed like true respect for and appreciation of the histories and cultures of some of the world’s greatest athletes. As the games came to a close, however, so too did Britain’s seeming respect for its foreign visitors, as reports surfaced alleging that officials at its Dover immigration removal center have been too dismissive of detainees’ torture claims.
Special medical training to recognize and understand the consequences of human rights abuses is no longer a niche specialty only for clinicians working with asylum seekers. Such training is necessary for all physicians, psychologists, nurses, and social workers determined to aid their patients effectively. PHR will be conducting two training sessions to provide clinicians with the skills necessary to recognize and document evidence of torture and other human rights abuses.
Kim Young-hwan, the South Korean human rights defender who was held in detention by the Chinese government for over 100 days, is undergoing medical evaluation to investigate and document the torture that he says occurred at the hands of Chinese security agents.
PHR and TASSC International held a briefing at the Capitol entitled “Psychological Torture in Detention” in recognition of Torture Awareness Month. The discussion centered on the use of psychological torture on individuals in detention through practices such as prolonged indefinite detention and abusive solitary confinement.
Is it torture to waterboard a person, slam them against walls, deprive them of sleep, and force them into stress positions until they cry out for mercy? Close your eyes and imagine this is being done to your husband, your sister, or your child; it would seem to be an easy question to answer.Yet today, some are asking whether such “interrogation techniques” are effective. Here’s the answer of Senator John McCain, who was tortured: “under torture a person will say anything he thinks his captors want to hear — true or false — if he believes it will relieve his suffering.