Cambridge, Mass. (PRWEB) June 18, 2008 – A team of doctors and psychologists convened by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) to conduct intensive clinical evaluations of 11 former detainees held in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo Bay has found that these men suffered torture and ill-treatment by US personnel, which resulted in severe pain and long-term disability. The men were ultimately released from US custody without charge or explanation.

“The horrific consequences of US detention and interrogation policy are indelibly written on the bodies and minds of the former detainees in scars, debilitating injuries, humiliating memories and haunting nightmares,” states Dr. Allen Keller, Director of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture and a contributor to PHR’s report Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by US Personnel and Its Impact. “Physical and psychological evidence clearly supports the detainees’ first-hand accounts of cruelty, inhuman treatment, degradation, and torture.”

“The poignant case studies focus on the profound and lasting consequences of cruelty at the hands of US personnel,” said Farnoosh Hashemian, MPH, PHR Research Associate and lead author of the report. “The detainees suffer permanent hearing loss, persistent and debilitating pain in limbs and joints, major depressive disorder, severe post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety disorders, such as panic attacks.”

One Iraqi detainee, Laith, recounted that during his initial detention in an unknown prison, he was brutally beaten and kicked until he lost consciousness. In Abu Ghraib, he was kept naked for almost a month in a variety of stress positions in isolation in a small, dark cell wearing soiled underwear and was subjected to lengthy interrogations.

On one occasion he was brought to see his brother who was bleeding, naked, and humiliated. The most painful experience for Laith was the threat of rape of his mother and sisters: “They were saying, ‘you will hear your mothers and sisters when we are raping them [here].’”

These men also continue to endure profound disruptions in their social and family lives. Many live with an abiding sense of shame caused by the loss of their ability to protect and provide for their families. And several men told medical evaluators of their desire to relocate, stemming from their loss of a sense of safety, since they had been arrested without charge or to avoid the frequent reminders of their harrowing detention experiences.

The report calls for full investigation and remedies, including accountability for war crimes, and reparation, such as compensation, medical care and psycho-social services.

RSS feed | Trackback URI

4 Comments »

Comment by neuromancer
2008-06-18 11:26:44

I have read the summary of the report, and it is clear that there is essentially NO evidence of the “severe injuries” alleged in the summaries. There is no documentation of the “rectal tearing” described, which even if present, could have resulted from consensual or non-consensual anal intercourse separate from the individual’s incarceration in any case. The description of so called numbness and “weakness” in the upper extremities is only possible evidence of a brachial plexus injury, and would have to be substantiated by electromyography (EMG) to be conclusively diagnosed. The main basis of this report is the claims of the detainees, who have many reasons to make statements against their former captors. What other evidence of “severe torture” can you provide. I see none.

Their claims of psychological damage are also in need of confirmation by a disinterested party, not someone with a declared agenda against the captivity of these prisoners such as your examiner. Many guilty persons who are incarcerated for crimes become depressed over their predicament. This is not evidence of mistreatment.

This is a biased and sensationalized report of not much at all. I condemn you for your attempt to smear the US military with these unsubstantiated claims of “war crimes”.

Comment by Xtina99
2008-06-18 12:07:37

Oh yeah, Dr. Necromancer, god knows Physicians for Human Rights has a dark and evil agenda. Even though the Pentagon and the Dept. of Justice documented the abuse in their own reports, they’ve GOT to be lying.

The former prisoner’s narratives matched up closely with x-rays, MRI’s etc., forcing the examining body to conclude they were telling the truth. Or does Al-Queda get them to pre-fake broken bones and evidence of electical shock?

Would you be willing to weave a fantasy about being forcefully butt*ucked, Mr. Necromancer? Who do you work for? And if you are indeed medical personnel, could you tell us what hospital you are at so we can be sure to avoid it?

 
 
Comment by neuromancer
2008-06-18 12:48:31

@Xtina99,
I am certainly impressed at the level of your discourse.

If you had read the report, you would see there is no believable evidence that the detainees were severely injured presented in the report. You provide no documentation to refute this statement. There is no mention of “MRI” in the report. A simple string search confirms this. The term “x-ray” appears in the report on 1 (one) occasion in describing an actual test result, which supposedly shows a bony deformity of a nasal bone which might have been caused by a prior nasal fracture. When that occurred is not at all clear, if that is the correct interpretation. The rest of the mentions of “x-ray” are in relation to Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay, or in 1 case an allegation that a detainee had a chest x-ray, and in another that an x-ray was recommended of the hand. No “severe” or “serious” injuries are documented by x-ray or MRI in this report, contrary to your contention.

Please get your facts straight before you come here and post nonsense.

 
Comment by Xtina99
2008-06-18 12:54:38

Read it. You are still wrong. People make this stuff up to get Dr. Necromancer’s dander up. That’s all it is.

 
Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
URI
Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)
You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

Trackback responses to this post

Physicians for Human Rights, 2 Arrow Street, Suite 301, Cambridge, MA 02138 | brokenlives[at]phrusa[dot]org | Tel 617.301.4219