PHR in the News
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.
The epidemic of rape and sexual violence continues to stalk all of Darfur. As a study by Physicians for Human Rights has shown, the health consequences of rape are staggering, with enormous implications for the well-being of women and girls who have been attacked.
Irish-trained surgeons Ali Alekri and Ghassan Dhaif were recently arrested in a pre-dawn raids, then violently tortured over a four-month period. International human rights organisations, including Physicians for Human Rights, have all called upon the Bahraini authorities and king to overturn the sentences and release all six medics so treated last week.
Over the past two years, some people in Burma have experienced some remarkable changes. The government of Burma has released political prisoners made moves toward greater political freedom, and loosened strict media controls. But people in Burma have also witnessed continuing crimes by the military, ongoing conflict in Kachin state, and violent ethnic clashes in Rakhine [Arakan] state.