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For Immediate Release

Medical Professionals Welcome Senate Decision to Share the Truth on CIA Torture

Senate Committee Agrees to Make Parts of Report Publicly Available

Media Contact

Vesna Jaksic Lowe, MS

Media Relations Manager, New York
Tel: 917-679-0110

New York - 04/03/2014

NEW YORK - Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) welcomed today’s bipartisan decision by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) to declassify the executive summary and 20 findings and conclusions in the committee’s report on CIA detention and interrogation practices. PHR urged the White House to ensure the information is promptly released to the public with as few redactions as possible. 

The committee spent some $40 million in taxpayer money over three years compiling a 6,300-page report on U.S. officials’ detention, rendition, and interrogation practices, but the report has not yet been made public. Today’s 11-3 vote means parts of the report can be released, pending a formal declassification process. Those familiar with the report say that it details the agency’s use of torture and finds that such crimes did not promote our national security. 

“The American public deserves to know how our government engaged in torture, so that we can make sure these immoral and illegal acts are not repeated,” said Andrea Gittleman, PHR’s interim director of U.S. policy. “Releasing this report is a crucial step toward transparency and will hopefully start a new chapter in our country’s history that elevates truth and promotes accountability.” 

PHR has documented the unethical use of medical professionals in torture and ill-treatment and has long called for a full investigation into the medical community’s involvement. Medical community leaders have spoken out about the need to release the CIA torture report. As part of a national initiative led by PHR to encourage the medical community to press their senators to vote in favor of the report’s release, medical and health professionals in Maine launched a statewide campaign urging Senators Susan Collins and Angus King – both of whom serve on the Intelligence Committee – to vote in support of releasing the critical information contained in the report in order to prevent future abuses. Both senators indicated their intent to vote in favor of declassification and release of parts of the report earlier this week.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent organization that uses medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. We are supported by the expertise and passion of health professionals and concerned citizens alike.

Since 1986, PHR has conducted investigations in more than 40 countries around the world, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, the United States, the former Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

  • 1986 — Led investigations of torture in Chile gaining freedom for heroic doctors there
  • 1988 — First to document the Iraqi use of chemical weapons on Kurds providing               evidence for prosecution of war criminals
  • 1996 — Exhumed mass graves in the Balkans and Rwanda to provide evidence for               International Criminal Tribunals
  • 1997 — Shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
  • 2003 — Warned US Policymakers on health and human rights conditions prior to and               during the invasion of Iraq
  • 2004 — Documented genocide and sexual violence in Darfur in support of international               prosecutions
  • 2010 — Investigated the epidemic of violence spread by Burma’s military junta
  • 2011 — Championed the principle of noninterference with medical services in times of               armed conflict and civil unrest during the Arab Spring
  • 2012 — Trained doctors, lawyers, police, and judges in the Democratic Republic of the               Congo, Kenya, and Syria on the proper collection of evidence in sexual               violence cases
  • 2013 — Won first prize in the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention with MediCapt, our               mobile app that documents evidence of torture and sexual violence

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