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American Psychological Association to Conduct an Independent Review Into its Role in CIA Torture Program

For Immediate Release

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) said today it welcomed the American Psychological Association’s (APA) announcement that it will conduct an independent review of whether it colluded in the CIA’s use of torture after 9/11.

“We hope this review will be a critical step toward addressing the American Psychological Association’s role in justifying psychologist involvement in the CIA’s torture program,” said Donna McKay, PHR’s executive director. “The process must be fully independent and we hope that the staff and others implicated will be wholly forthcoming and transparent with information.”

The APA announced this week it will conduct the review as a result of a new book by James Risen of the New York Times, which shows the APA worked with the Bush administration to support torture. A New York Times story today reported on the announcement by the APA – the largest organization of psychologists in the United States.

PHR has long advocated that health professionals, including psychologists, should not be involved in torture in any way. While the APA has rewritten or repudiated many of its Bush-era ethics policies, PHR pointed out it must still engage in a full and transparent accounting about how it removed core principles of international human rights from its ethics code over a decade ago.

PHR said that the APA must release any evidence of potential criminal wrongdoing by its staff and board, and renewed its call for a federal investigation into allegations raised in Risen’s book, “Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War.”

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