In early 2003, when reports of torture by US military personnel began to surface publicly, PHR committed to investigating allegations of US torture, advocating against its practice and mobilizing health professionals to advocate for an end to these abuses.
As evidence of US national security interrogation practices emerged, it became clear that psychologically abusive methods of interrogation were at the core of US intelligence gathering.
In response to US personnel's systematic infliction of psychological and physical torture against detainees, PHR seeks to restore the US commitment against torture, to ensure humane treatment of detainees, and to protect US health personnel from complicity in mistreatment and harm.
More about PHR's work in stopping torture and bringing about accountability:
PHR Condemns Closure of Egyptian Anti-Torture Organization (February 10, 2017)
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today condemned the shuttering of Egypt’s premiere anti-torture organization and clinic, the El-Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence. On Thursday, Egyptian officials sealed the organization’s office doors after a protracted effort to halt its work.
PHR Condemns Latest Attempt to Shutter Egypt’s Premier Anti-Torture Organization (November 16, 2016)
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today condemned the Egyptian government’s decision to freeze the bank account of the El-Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, a prominent group that treats and provides assistance to victims of torture.
PHR Welcomes APA Vote to Maintain Anti-Torture Protections (August 5, 2016)
During its annual meeting in Denver, Colorado, the American Psychological Association (APA) voted against changing its 2015 ban on psychologists participating in national security interrogations and practicing at illegal detention sites like Guantánamo Bay. Instead, decisions on any proposed amendments have been tabled until February 2017, when the APA’s governing Council of Representatives will reconvene.
PHR Responds to Blanket Redaction of CIA Torture Documents (June 14, 2016)
The CIA released a trove of documents related to its rendition, detention, and interrogation programs, and PHR is appalled that the agency redacted nearly all details concerning the CIA’s Office of Medical Services, the entity ostensibly charged with detainee care.
Trump’s Torture Stance Is Anti-American (February 13, 2017)
President Donald J. Trump continues to insist torture “absolutely works,” a jagged departure from fact, law, and morality. Within days of his inauguration, the White House was already circulating a draft executive order to reopen CIA “black sites” and review currently approved interrogation practices, presumably with a view to fulfilling Trump’s campaign promises to bring back waterboarding and a “hell of a lot worse.”
CIA Documents Show How Deeply Doctors and Health Professionals Were Involved in Torture (July 25, 2016)
Last month, the CIA released more than 50 declassified documents about the illegal torture program it operated after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Many of them elaborate on the sheer brutality of the CIA’s practices.
Guantánamo: A Badge of Shame (January 7, 2016)
Fourteen years ago, the U.S. government opened Guantánamo Bay detention facility in an effort to create a place beyond the reach of the law and the Constitution -- a place where the absolute prohibition against torture and ill-treatment could be violated with impunity. Today, the consequences of that pernicious move are being felt in every corner of the United States.
The Human Cost of Guantánamo (January 7, 2016)
This month marks the 14th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo Bay detention center, the most visible symbol of U.S. torture and injustice around the world. President Obama has called the prison a “sad chapter in American history.” Unfortunately, Guantánamo is still open – and so is this sad chapter.
Letter to U.S. Senate on Indefinite Detention (June 2016)
As Congress considers Guantánamo-related provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2017, the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, the Center for Victims of Torture, and Physicians for Human Rights sent a letter to the U.S. Senate calling for an end to indefinite detention without charge or trial.
Truth Matters: Accountability for CIA Psychological Torture (December 2015)
One year after the Senate torture report’s partial release, transparency and accountability – let alone redress to victims – remain stalled. The U.S. government must end the cover-up of torture and ill-treatment and honor its obligation to investigate and prosecute those responsible.
Preliminary Statement on the Hoffman Report (August 2015)
PHR’s statement outlines key findings of the Hoffman report and provides recommendations for accountability, policy reform, and justice.
PHR's executive director sent a letter to leaders of the American Psychological Association supporting recommendations on prohibiting psychologists’ participation in interrogations.