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.
Retired Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, who grew up on Oahu and was assigned to investigate prisoner abuses at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, will be appearing Sunday at the Veterans Day Memorial at the Makawao Veterans Cemetery and at the We Love Veterans Maui luncheon in Kahului. He retired from the Army in 2007, and the next year he accused the Bush administration of war crimes in a report by Physicians for Human Rights.
PHR Congratulates President Obama on His Reelection, Urges Administration to Strengthen US Human Rights Policies in Second Term
PHR congratulates President Obama on his reelection. A second term provides an opportunity for the administration to strengthen US policies on a variety of important human rights issues, thereby fulfilling obligations incumbent upon the administration and completing the unfinished work of the first term.
Steve Champion, a prize-winning writer in the PEN Prison Writing contest, went on a hunger strike in the Adjustment Center of San Quentin’s death row from October 4 through October 19 in protest of the harsh conditions and long-term solitary confinement practices of the center. Solitary confinement is considered by human rights groups, such as PHR, to be a form of torture.
Although torture remains deeply embedded in the law enforcement and state security systems of the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan, a new PHR briefing paper documents recent efforts to end impunity for torture, both by promoting policy changes and by improving the country’s local capacity to investigate, document, and prosecute such abuses.