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Press Release

Syria’s New Anti-Torture Law Fails to Address Regime’s Crimes Against Humanity: PHR 

In response to Syria’s passage of anti-torture legislation on March 30, the following statement is attributable to Houssam al-Nahhas, MD, MPH, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Researcher:   “Physicians for Human Rights would welcome any systemic measures that prevent the torture and ill-treatment of people in Syria, provide meaningful pathways […]

April 5, 2022
Torture
Multimedia

The Disappeared Doctors of Syria

The Syrian government has targeted health care workers with detention, abuse, and torture. Here are some of their stories.

February 22, 2022
Attacks on Health Care, Mass Atrocities, Persecution of Health Workers, Torture
Press Release

German Court Conviction of Syrian Who Oversaw Torture a ‘First Step’ Towards Justice and Accountability: PHR

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) welcomes the landmark verdict against Syrian colonel Anwar Raslan, who was convicted today of crimes against humanity in a court in Koblenz, Germany, and sentenced to life in prison.   Raslan supervised the systematic and brutal torture of more than 4,000 Syrian prisoners in 2011-2012. His conviction today marks the first […]

January 13, 2022
Torture
Blog

The Aftermath of 9/11: The U.S. Torture Program in the “War on Terror”

This year marks two decades since the deadly terror attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. On this occasion, PHR joins the world to remember the thousands who perished on that day and to honor the many first responders – including medics, physicians, nurses, firefighters, police officers, and so many others – who […]

September 10, 2021
Torture
Press Release

Leading Mental Health Professionals and Organizations File Amici Brief in Landmark CIA Detainee Case at U.S Supreme Court

A group of eminent mental health professionals and organizations today filed a brief of amici curiae at the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of U.S. v Abu Zubaydah. Led by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), the experts assert that the U.S. government cannot use the state secrets privilege to shield the egregious actions of […]

August 20, 2021
Torture, When Doctors Harm
Other

Amici Brief in the case of United States of America v. Abu Zubaydah

In U.S. v. Abu Zubaydah, the Supreme Court will consider if a detainee can obtain information about their torture while in the custody of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at a so-called “black site” in Poland, or whether the U.S. government can claim that the “state secrets” privilege completely blocks from view key information about […]

August 20, 2021
Torture, When Doctors Harm
Blog

Syria’s Medical Workers Are Still Fighting for Justice

Originally published by Al Jazeera, March 19, 2021 Every day when I wake up, I think about August 18, 2012 – the day I finally saw the sun after weeks in captivity. For the “crime” of providing healthcare to injured protesters, the Syrian government imprisoned and tortured me at the Military Intelligence Directorate in Aleppo for […]

March 23, 2021
Attacks on Health Care, Mass Atrocities, Persecution of Health Workers, Torture
Webinar

Syrian Health and Human Rights: 10 Years of Conflict

On Thursday, March 11, 2021, Physicians for Human Rights hosted an online briefing call commemorating 10 years of the Syrian conflict, where experts reflected on the state of health and human rights in Syria. PHR Advisory Council member Jennifer Leaning, MD, SMH, senior research fellow at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at […]

March 11, 2021
Attacks on Health Care, COVID-19, Mass Atrocities, Persecution of Health Workers, Torture
Other

Advocacy Brief: Key Actions Governments Must Take Now to Uphold Human Rights After 10 Years of Conflict in Syria

Introduction After 10 years of war and untold suffering in Syria, the landscape for human rights, justice, and accountability looks bleak. In the spring of 2011, peaceful protesters took to the streets across Syria, demanding basic human rights and dignity. They were met with a fierce crackdown by the Syrian government. That violence has since […]

March 11, 2021
Attacks on Health Care, COVID-19, Mass Atrocities, Persecution of Health Workers, Torture
Multimedia

A Decade of Death, Destruction, and Denial

After 10 years of war and untold suffering in Syria, the landscape for human rights, justice, and accountability looks bleak. Explore an interactive timeline of the conflict.

March 11, 2021
Attacks on Health Care, Mass Atrocities, Persecution of Health Workers, Torture
Multimedia

The Rohingya: Survivors of Atrocity

Two years ago, the government of Myanmar unleashed a scorched-earth campaign against the Rohingya Muslims. Impunity prevails for these atrocities, which are only the most recent in the long story of the Rohingya’s persecution in Myanmar. When will the Rohingya see justice done?

August 24, 2020
Mass Atrocities, Rohingya, Sexual Violence, Torture
Press Release

‘Enhanced Interrogation’ Architect Dr. James Mitchell’s Testimony at Guantánamo Highlights His Role in U.S. Torture, Debasement of Psychological Ethics: PHR

Psychologist Dr. James Mitchell – architect of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program and a key figure in health professionals’ shameful record of participation in torture – is testifying for the first time before a U.S. military court at Guantánamo Bay. His accounting of why and how the United States inflicted torture on detainees offers a […]

January 23, 2020
Torture, When Doctors Harm
Blog

The Best Human Rights Films of 2019: PHR’s Picks

Grab your popcorn because the final countdown to the Oscars has begun: on Sunday, February 9, 2020 hundreds of millions of people around the world will tune in to watch the 92nd Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California. The annual culmination of the film awards cycle will hand out the industry’s top honors to nominees […]

January 14, 2020
Asylum, Attacks on Health Care, Torture
Multimedia

Video: “Because We Are Doctors”

Syrian doctor “Youssef” was treating a patient in the hospital when state security forces arrived and arrested him. He is one of countless health workers who provided care to the wounded, only to be arrested, detained, and tortured by the Assad regime. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) conducted an investigation into the purposeful, illegal, and […]

December 5, 2019
Attacks on Health Care, Mass Atrocities, Persecution of Health Workers, Torture
Press Release

The Syrian Government Systematically Arrests, Detains, Tortures Health Workers: Physicians for Human Rights

The Syrian government has systematically targeted health professionals for arrest, detention, and torture, according to a new investigation published today by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). “My Only Crime Was That I Was a Doctor” is the first-ever report to document the purposeful, illegal, and brutal strategy by the Syrian government to commit these targeted […]

December 4, 2019
Attacks on Health Care, Torture
Report

“My Only Crime Was That I Was a Doctor”

This study’s findings indicate that the government of Syria has targeted health workers for arbitrary arrest, detention, and torture for the ostensible “crime” of honoring their professional codes of ethics, which require them to provide care to the sick and wounded without discrimination.

December 4, 2019
Attacks on Health Care, Mass Atrocities, Torture
Blog

Global Use of Torture and the Urgency of “The Report”: A Conversation between Experts

Below is an excerpt from a conversation between Vincent Iacopino, MD, PhD, PHR senior medical advisor, and Juan E. Méndez, former UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The discussion was moderated by Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU and PHR board member, in October 2019. In […]

November 25, 2019
Torture, When Doctors Harm
Press Release

PHR: Egyptian Security Forces Harass Torture Rehabilitation Group Amid Broad Crackdown on Civil Society

Following peaceful protests on September 20-21 in cities across Egypt, security forces of the authoritarian regime of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi are mounting a harsh crackdown on civil society organizations, activists, academics, and others. Human rights groups estimate that more than 3,100 people have been arbitrarily arrested and detained in recent weeks, including more than 100 […]

October 11, 2019
Persecution of Health Workers, Torture
Press Release

Report Documents Pervasive Deficiencies in Medical Care of Detainees at Guantánamo Bay Detention Center

NEW YORK and WASHINGTON – This week, the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) released a report detailing widespread medical deficiency at the Guantánamo Bay detention center. Following an in-depth review of publicly available information related to medical care at Guantánamo – both past and present – as well […]

June 26, 2019
Torture
Report

Deprivation and Despair

This report was jointly produced by the Center for Victims of Torture and Physicians for Human Rights. Executive Summary From the inception more than 17 years ago of the Guantánamo Bay detention center located on the U.S. naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, senior detention facility personnel have consistently lauded the quality of medical care […]

June 26, 2019
Torture
Blog

Two Decades of International Collaboration to Prevent Torture

Twenty years ago, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) led the development of the Istanbul Protocol, which established United Nations standards on the state obligation to investigate torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment.

June 25, 2019
Torture