Experiments in Torture: Action and Media Recap

Last Monday, June 7, PHR released Experiments in Torture: Human Subject Research and Experimentation in the “Enhanced” Interrogation Program to immediate, overwhelming response.Upon release of the report, PHR issued a statement and held a press conference. In the first 24 hours, PHR received over 467 press mentions. Major press covering the story on day 1 included the New York Times, Nature, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Mother Jones, Huffington Post, Washington Independent, Scientific American and Alternet. The report was featured on the front page of the Daily Kos and Boing Boing—two of the most heavily trafficked blogs on the internet—as well as on the prestigious legal affairs blog, Balkinization, on the highly influential blog Hullabaloo, and on numerous other notable blogs, including, Firedoglake (multiple bloggers), Religion Dispatches, The American Prospect, On Faith (Washington Post) and Political Animal.

News of the report also ran on numerous major network local TV and radio news shows around the country.

PHR editorial in the New York Times

On Tuesday, June 8, PHR's report was the subject of the lead editorial of the New York Times. Day 2 coverage also included The Nation, New York Observer, LA Times, New Scientist, Inter Press Service and fulsome treatments by bloggers Andrew Sullivan (at The Atlantic) and Glenn Greenwald (at, who are both widely read and highly influential for new media and mainstream news, alike.

On Wednesday, PHR, along with 9 other groups submitted a formal complaint to the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP). We issued a new statement and held another press conference—and attracted a new round of press coverage, with at least 200 press outlets covering the story, including wire stories on AFP and AP and detailed reporting on The Great Beyond blog from

Our OHRP complaint was co-signed by Amnesty International USA, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Center for Constitutional Rights, Center for Victims of Torture, Human Rights Watch, International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Network of Concerned Anthropologists and Psychologists for Social Responsibility.

Anyone can file an OHRP complaint, so we've opened ours to the public in cooperation with a number of our partner organizations. If you haven't signed on yet, please do.

Also on Wednesday, the office of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who is chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, released a statement to blogger Jeff Kaye: "the findings of the new report from Physicians for Human Rights will be considered," Feinstein said, in the Committee's review of the CIA detention and interrogation program.By the end of the week on Friday, PHR was mentioned nearly 900 times in press source and had over 9000 total downloads of Experiments in Torture. The report authors have been interviewed numerous times for print, radio and TV. We've posted a few of their appearances on The Torture Papers.

A number of outside academic experts have spoken supportively on the record about PHR's evidence and the allegation of experimentation, including, Olivier Ribbelink, researcher at the Asser Institute in The Hague; Jonathan D. Moreno, a professor of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania; Paul Root Wolpe, director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia; and Nancy Berlinger, a research scholar who studies clinical ethics at The Hastings Center in Garrison, New York.

Many thanks to all who have blogged, reported, tweeted, signed onto the OHRP complaint, sent our links to colleagues and otherwise responded to the pressing nature of our findings in Experiments in Torture.Stay tuned for more developments.

(Cross-posted on The Torture Papers)

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