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Libyan Doctor with Sniper Victim

Policy Statement

New Medical Neutrality Exemption to “Material Support” Bar to Asylum is Applauded

11/14/2011

PHR commends Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano’s decision to create an exemption to the “material support” bar for health professionals who have provided medical assistance to wounded combatants. The decision is a major victory for health professionals who were forced to provide health care to alleged terrorists during armed conflict. Previously, medical professionals forced to provide care to members of terrorist organizations, some under the threat of torture or death, were denied asylum in the US.

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MA Anti-Torture Legislation Memorandum of Support

09/20/2011

PHR strongly supports Massachusetts bill H.3361 (Lewis) and S.1090 (Eldridge), “An Act to Prohibit the Participation of Health Care Professionals in the Torture and Abusive Treatment of Prisoners,” which will subject to professional sanctions any Massachusetts-licensed health care professionals who participate in the torture or abusive treatment and interrogation of prisoners. It will also require health care professionals to report instances of torture or abusive treatment of prisoners, and provide protection for those professionals who refuse to participate in prohibited acts or who investigate them.

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NY Anti-Torture Legislation Memorandum of Support

09/20/2011

PHR strongly supports New York bill A.6665 (Gottfried) and S.4495 (Duane), “An Act to amend the public health law, the education law and the labor law, in relation to prohibiting participation in torture and improper treatment of prisoners by health care professionals,” which will bar all health care professionals from participating in the torture or improper treatment and interrogation of prisoners, requires health care providers to report torture or improper treatment of prisoners to responsible authorities, and provides whistleblower protections for health care professionals who refuse to undertake prohibited acts and those who participate in investigations of lawbreaking.

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Witness to War Crimes

Witness to War Crimes: Evidence from Misrata, Libya

08/30/2011

When Libyans first took to the streets to protest Colonel Muammar Qaddafi’s autocratic rule in February 2011, Qaddafi's response was quick and brutal: attack protesters and target civilians in a deliberate campaign to quash dissent across the country. This report documents some of the conflict's most severe human rights violations that must be addressed as a new civilian government emerges.

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Stefan Schmitt examining forensic evidence, Libya 2011

Current Work

Physicians for Human Rights Calls for the Protection of Evidence of Atrocities in Libya

08/29/2011

Protecting evidence of any and all crime scenes from the unrest in Libya will ensure that independent investigations of alleged war crimes can take place. Without such protection, evidence of past atrocities, as well as those that have occurred during the recent conflict, may be lost.

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