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Physicians for Human Rights Applauds Bipartisan Amendment Reaffirming Prohibition on Torture

For Immediate Release

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today welcomed the passage of a bipartisan amendment that reaffirms the prohibition on torture and helps prevent future U.S. administrations from engaging in torture. The legislation, adopted by a vote of 78-21, was introduced last week by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) as an amendment to the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. The amendment makes the U.S. Army Field Manual on Interrogations the standard for all U.S. interrogations and codifies access for the International Committee of the Red Cross to all wartime detainees.

Sarah Dougherty, PHR’s senior anti-torture fellow, said:

“The passage of the McCain-Feinstein amendment is a resounding rejection of the CIA torture program and a critical step toward ensuring that the U.S. government never again ignores the absolute ban on torture. For years, Physicians for Human Rights has been campaigning to restore the U.S. government’s commitment against torture and to strengthen it in legislation.

“Now that the amendment has been adopted, the United States must come to terms with how the CIA, the military, and others – including health professionals – broke the law in the first place. In doing so, they inflicted long-lasting harm on the minds and bodies of detainees and made the world a more dangerous place. Full transparency and accountability for all those responsible are urgently needed. Anything less is a betrayal of the U.S. commitment to human rights and the rule of law.”

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.

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