Since 1997, every June 26 has marked the annual United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Millions of people around the world, including an estimated 500,000 in the United States, are struggling with the impact of horrific acts intentionally inflicted on them.
More than 150 physicians and other health care professionals from the United States and United Kingdom are urging President Obama to direct that detainees engaged in hunger strikes at Guantánamo Bay receive independent medical advice and evaluation.
We write to you as doctors and other health professionals to request that you attend to the open letter from 13 of the hunger strikers in Guantanamo to their military doctors. It is clear that they do not trust their military doctors. They have very good reason for this, as you should know, from the current protocols of the Joint Task Force Guantanamo,1 which those doctors are ordered to follow.
PHR welcomed the nomination of Samantha Power by the White House as the new US ambassador to the United Nations. “Samantha Power has a direct understanding and vision for how the United Nations can support human security and well-being, and brings passion and expertise for human rights to this important role,” said Susannah Sirkin, PHR’s director of international policy and partnerships, and senior advisor.
In his first year in office, President Barack Obama pledged to “collect the facts” on the death of hundreds, possibly thousands, of Taliban prisoners of war at the hands of U.S.-allied Afghan forces in late 2001. Almost four years later, there’s no sign of progress. When asked by ProPublica about the state of the investigation, the White House says it is still “looking into” the apparent massacre.