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For Immediate Release

PHR to Testify on New York Anti-Torture Legislation

Cambridge, Mass. - 11/10/2011

WHO: Kristine Huskey, Director, PHR’s Anti-Torture Program

WHAT: New York State Senator Thomas Duane has invited PHR to testify at a public forum designed to address accusations of medical professionals’ participation in torture and “enhanced interrogation” as well as to analyze the potential impacts and implementation of proposed legislative responses. The forum will also explore the legal, regulatory and ethical obligations of medical professionals relating to torture and enhanced interrogation techniques

WHEN: Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 11 a.m. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

WHERE: Senate Hearing Room, 250 Broadway, 19th Floor, New York, New York

WHY: Since 2005, PHR has been investigating and reporting on the use of psychological torture to “break” detainees in US custody in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo.

Reports by the United States Senate Armed Services Committee, the Inspector General for the CIA, and the International Committee for the Red Cross have confirmed that doctors and psychologists were essential to the design, implementation, and rationalization of a system of torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of US detainees.

PHR has also reported on the participation of health professionals in use of torture techniques, such as excessive isolation, forced nudity, stress positions, sleep deprivation, temperature manipulation, confinement, and waterboarding.

Other witnesses include:

  • Dr. Allen Keller (Director, NYU Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture)
  • Dr. Stephen Xenakis (Brigadier General (Ret.), Center for Transnational Medicine)
  • Gary Aumiller  (Executive Director, Society for Police and Criminal Psychology)
  • James Cullen (Brigadier General (Ret.), United States Army Reserve Judge Advocate General's Corps)
  • Dr. June Feder  (Legislative Chair, NYS Psychological Association)
  • Richard N. Gottfried (New York State Assembly Member)
  • Taylor Pendergrass (Senior Staff Attorney, NYCLU)
  • Kathy Roberts (Attorney, Center for Justice and Accountability)
  • Rebecca Schleifer (Advocacy Director, Health and Human Rights Division, Human Rights Watch)

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.

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