After reporting an alleged $230 million tax fraud perpetrated by a group of Russian government officials and senior police officers, Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer stationed in Russia for the UK‐based investment firm Hermitage Fund, was arrested and jailed on November 24, 2008. Magnitsky died following 358 days in prison under progressively worsening conditions. PHR's International Forensic Program reviewed documents relating to Magnitsky's death in order to identify key irregularities, inconsistencies or gaps in the medical investigations carried out by the Russian authorities into the cause and manner of his death.
The United States government’s reliance on indefinite detention in both national security and immigration contexts reflects an abdication of its legal and moral responsibility to treat those in its custody humanely, as well as an abdication of its responsibility to protect its military and civilians from retaliation on account of its continued refusal to honor the rule of law.
PHR documents the Mexican government's historic attempt and ultimate failure to implement international standards of forensic evaluations of torture and ill treatment.
In July 2007, PHR sent a two-person team to Afghanistan to assess continuing need for forensic assistance in establishing accountability for serious war crimes and crimes against humanity, with a view to ending impunity and to establish the truth of what happened in the past. An expected outcome is to undertake forensic investigations relating to mass graves.
In December 1991, Middle East Watch and Physicians for Human Rights sent a delegation to northern Iraq to observe and assist in the exhumation, identification, and determination of probable cause and manner of death of individuals interred in mass and single, unmarked graves.