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Report: U.S. doctors tortured detainees


American doctors accused of involvement in torture in CIA prisons

November 4, 2013, 19:05

Text: Ivan Chernov

Printable version

In the history of the CIA prisons and the Pentagon, which has for years periodically enters the lens of the media, it is a new and quite unexpected turn. American lawyers, doctors and specialists on ethics has prepared a report, which stated that the military doctors gave US permission to torture in military prisons, and also personally participated in them.

American military doctors, contrary to the principles of medical ethics, has authorized the torture of alleged terrorists in military prisons, but also personally took part in them, according to a published in the Monday report of the independent Commission on the questions of medical professionalism.

The Ministry of defence and the CIA illegally demanded consist of their state of health workers to participate in the procedures for obtaining information in such a way that they (doctors) have caused severe suffering to prisoners,” – said in the report, RIA “Novosti”.

In the drafting of the 156-page document entitled “Waiver of ethics: medical professionalism and abuse of detainees in the “War on terror” (Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the “War on Terror”) was attended by 19 experts from various institutions in the United States: doctors, military, lawyers and experts on ethics.

The Commission spent two years studying the publicly available records testifying to the treatment of prisoners in guantánamo, and in prisons on U.S. military bases in Afghanistan and Iraq.

According to the authors of the report, the cooperation of medical personnel with the security services during interrogation, began in the American prisons in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay and in secret CIA prisons, appeared after the attacks on new York and Washington in September 2001, the BBC adds.

Leonard Rubinstein, one of the authors of the report, which also is a senior research fellow at the Centre for human rights and public health at Johns Hopkins, said that “the Ministry of defence and the CIA changed the basic principles of ethics for health workers to take part in the mistreatment of prisoners, and these changes are still in power.”

As stated in the report, some forms of torture – such as simulated drowning – were eventually banned, but the doctors and nurses continue to participate in force-feeding prisoners, including at Guantanamo Bay.

According to Rubinstein, the prison administration uses doctors for force-feeding detainees, during which the prisoner is tied to a chair in a very uncomfortable position, which is contrary to the standards of ethics of the world medical Association and the American medical Association.

The medical staff also used to find vulnerable points in the psychology of inmates, which is then used in interrogations.

The report urges the intelligence Committee of the U.S. Senate to investigate such practices.

However, Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel J. Todd Brasil has called the allegations “absolutely absurd”.

“It is worth noting that none of the Commission members had no direct access to prisoners, their medical records or the procedures,” – said the military.

He made it clear that the data for the compilers of the report he received from the lawyers of detainees, which could not but affect their objectivity.

According to the Colonel, in fact, prisoners in specturm received better medical care than when they were free.

Echoes it and representative of the CIA, Dean Boyd. According to him, the report “contains serious inaccuracies and erroneous conclusions”.

“It should be emphasized that the CLA doesn’t have any prisoners,” he added.

Recall that the conditions of detention of inmates in some American prisons has long been a cause for serious complaints from the human rights community, politicians and diplomats.

So, in October, Russian foreign Ministry Commissioner for human rights and democracy Konstantin Dolgov said that in California prisons, there were cases when prisoners held in solitary confinement for 42 years.

The diplomat admitted that, according to the authorities of California are now in the isolation of four thousand prisoners. But the office of the UN high Commissioner for human rights believes this figure is underestimated by “at least three times”.

And in July on the California prison lashed out defenders. In particular, in the detention center Pelican Bay, according to them, prison officials took punitive measures against prisoners who staged a hunger strike because of cruel detention conditions.

“Prolonged isolation under conditions which can only be described as cruel and inhuman treatment, prohibited by international law,” said Amnesty International.

Large questions from the public causes the existence of secret U.S. prisons in Europe.

On 31 October the government of Poland has asked the European court of human rights to hold closed hearings on the complaint of a native of Yemen Walid Mohammed Ben Attala, which currently contains in the American prison in Guantanamo.

The case of secret CIA prisons started in 2008, the material is classified. But it is known that the complaint to the ECtHR on this issue was filed in may 2011 on three grounds: degrading treatment in the territory of Poland in one of the secret American prisons, the lack of effective investigation by the Polish authorities and the removal of Ben Attash from the territory of Poland, despite the existing threat to his life.

The first such complaint has already been considered. At the end of 2012, the European court found a violation of the rights of a German citizen of Lebanese origin Khaled El-Masri.

The man was abducted in December 2003 by the CIA in Macedonia, as was suspected of having links with “al-Qaeda”. From there he was flown to a prison in Kabul, however, in may 2004 was released.

First, El-Masri filed a complaint with the American Union of protection of civil liberties, but it was rejected. He then appealed to the ECHR, which recognized the violation of his rights.

We will remind that else in 2005 in the U.S., broke the prison scandal that has embroiled the countries of Eastern Europe. The Washington Post said that CIA was created in the former Soviet bloc special prison where prisoners suspected of terrorism and having links with “al-Qaeda”. According to the publication, the use of foreign prisons allows Washington not to comply with U.S. law.

But the most famous American prison, regularly receives reports of violations of prisoners ‘ rights, is the famous Guantanamo prison open in Cuba in 2002, shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

In April of this year there was on hunger strike, protesting against indefinite detention without charges, 100 of the 166 prisoners.

Note that the current U.S. President Barack Obama previously was going to close this prison, but it is still functional.

Director General, Institute of foreign policy studies and initiatives Veronica Krasheninnikova INVISCID even called Guantanamo “a symbol of the unfulfilled promises of President Obama”.

“During the election campaign of 2008 to close the prison symbolized the power of lawlessness end of the era of George Bush. But the closing never happened. Instead, in March 2011, President Obama signed the order about unlimited content at Guantanamo Bay. And in January of this year Obama signed a law imposing restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo inmates to other prisons,” she told the newspaper VIEW in August.

At the same time Russia and the United States are unable to agree on visiting by Russians of his compatriot Ravil Mingazova, a prisoner in Guantanamo. Talks about possible inspections were conducted for several months, but ended inconclusively.

In turn, Fordescape University Professor Martha Rayner, representing several Guantanamo detainees, said that lawyers who protect the rights of prisoners of this prison, have to work in difficult conditions.

According to the rules, they are forbidden to even mention the torture. Although the prisoners themselves constantly tell them about torture in the camp, the transmitted channel RT.

“There is no doubt that the U.S. authorities involved in torture of prisoners. Today most people know. But lawyers are not able to transmit information received from customers, neither investigators nor in the high court,” said she.

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