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For Immediate Release

PHR Asks President of El Salvador to Comply with Inter-American Court of Human Rights Decision on Disappearances

Cambridge, Mass - 12/08/2006

On March 1, 2005, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a decision pertaining to the case of the Serrano Cruz sisters, who were allegedly captured, kidnapped, and forcibly disappeared by the Salvadoran military during its "Operacion Limpieza” (Operation Clean-Up). To date, this case remains unresolved, those responsible have not been identified, nor have the two daughters been located. This is a fate shared by many families in El Salvador, some of which are represented by the Association Pro-Busqueda.

PHR’s International Forensic Program supports Association Pro-Búsqueda in its effort to reunite families with their loved ones who disappeared during the war in El Salvador. Since 1992, PHR has been providing technical and scientific support in the reunification of children with their families.

In a letter sent to the President of El Salvador on December 8, 2006, PHR asks the Salvadoran government to comply with the seven reparation measures issued by the Interamerican Court for Human Rights and encourages dialogue between the government, PHR, Pro-Búsqueda, and others about the Salvadoran government's plans for and progress in implementing the Court’s decision.

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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