As expected, the Obama administration today suspended the US ban on imports from Burma, just days before President Obama’s historic visit to that country. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is disappointed that the decision was not coupled to a requirement for proper safeguards to protect human rights.
PHR applauds today’s vote by the US House of Representatives to pass legislation that would place sanctions on Russians implicated in the torture and death three years ago of a Russian anti-corruption lawyer.
PHR Deputy Director Susannah Sirkin participated this week in a high-level consultation hosted by the British Government to respond to sexual violence in conflict zones. Experts from governments, UN agencies and NGOs gathered for three days to develop new ways of thinking about preventing sexual violence and providing survivors with services and access to justice. At the close of this gathering, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague delivered a powerful call to action.
In the aftermath of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the issue of torture has attracted the attention of the media, health organizations, and political activists. This year, State Senator Thomas Duane and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried sponsored a unique piece of legislation, which is publicly endorsed by the former president of Physicians for Human Rights, that establishes sanctions for state-licensed health professionals who participate in torture or improper treatment of prisoners.
Nearly five months after being acquitted of crimes related to Bahrain’s anti-government uprising, some Shi’ite medics remain suspended from work and fear they may never practice medicine in the country again. A senior researcher with Physicians for Human Rights, Abdulrazzaq al-Saiedi, says he believes the government is behind the ongoing interrogations.