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.
In the latest personal testimony on the cruelty of solitary confinement, one of the American hikers who was held hostage in Iran details how the conditions at California's Pelican Bay State Prison are at least as bad, and arguably even worse, than those he experienced in Iran. Inmates at Pelican Bay have been isolated for as long as 42 years, even as Physicians for Human Rights and other human rights organizations all call the practice torture.