Investigation and Documentation | Torture as a Weapon of War or Persecution

Torture and sexual violence are often perpetrated as a means of furthering political gains in war and conflict settings.

Sexual violence as torture: Sexual violence, rampant in conflict and post-conflict settings, is a form of torture. In Central and East Africa and Iraq, PHR and our partners are teaching first responders how to document this human rights violation.

Torture in the Syrian conflict: Tens of thousands of Syrians have been abducted and tortured during the country’s protracted civil war. Courageous health professionals trained by PHR are using their skills to document the physical and psychological evidence of this abuse so that future justice processes can hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes.

Torture of the Rohingya of Myanmar: In the campaign of violent attacks against Myanmar’s Rohingya minority in the summer of 2017, thousands of Rohingya men, women, and children were shot, raped, and subjected to other forms of torture and ill-treatment by Myanmar security forces and civilian accomplices.

PHR has conducted multiple investigations in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, including forensic medical evaluations of survivors and surveys encompassing more than 900,000 Rohingya villagers. Our findings and evidence are contributing to international efforts to bring justice to the survivors of this appalling violence.

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