PHR Letter to Secretary Gates Applauds Declassification of Report on Interrogation Techniques and Calls for Remedial Measures
In a letter sent on May 31, 2007, to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, PHR responds to the recently declassified Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report, "Review of DoD-Directed Investigations of Detainee Abuse."
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. Break Them Down, published by PHR in May 2005, was the first comprehensive review of the use of psychological torture by US forces, examining the devastating health consequences of psychological coercion and explaining how a regime of psychological torture was put into place in the US "war on terror".
The practice of imprisoning asylum seekers who flee to America to escape torture, abuse, and persecution in their own countries has damaging effects on the well-being of these individuals. Detention can induce fear, isolation, and hopelessness, and exacerbate the severe psychological distress frequently exhibited by asylum seekers who are already traumatized.
Chinese authorities in Tibet routinely use torture as a means of political repression, punishment and intimidation. PHR documents the physical and psychological affects of torture committed by Chinese authorities in Tibet through interviews with Tibetans who have fled to India.
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.