Soon after taking office, President Obama pledged to open a new inquiry into the deaths of perhaps thousands of Taliban prisoners of war at the hands of U.S.-allied Afghan fighters in late 2001. Last month, the White House told ProPublica it was still “looking into” the apparent massacre. Now it says it has concluded its investigation – but won’t make it public.
Dr. Stephen Xenakis, a Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) anti-torture expert, asked to immediately end force feeding of Guantánamo detainees during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this afternoon. Xenakis said force feeding is painful and degrading, and violates medical guidelines by undermining the doctor-patient relationship, and engaging health professionals in the use of force against the detainees.
PHR today marked International Justice Day by joining other human rights organizations in calling for an end to impunity for perpetrators of the world’s most serious crimes. International Justice Day commemorates July 17, 1998, the day the international community adopted the Rome Statute, which led to the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), the World Medical Association (WMA), the German Medical Association (GMA) and the Standing Committee of European Doctors/Comité Permanent des Médecins Européens (CPME) sent a letter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan today asking his government to immediately stop the use of tear gas and excessive force, which has led to the deaths of five civilians and more than 8,000 injuries among demonstrators.
Following a Bahraini criminal court’s acquittal this week of two military officers charged with torturing detainees and medical personnel, PHR renews its call for Bahrain’s government to make promised improvements to its justice system, including independent investigations and prosecutions that conform to internationally recognized legal standards of accountability.