Tag Archives | Torture

Chelsea Manning Could Face Indefinite Solitary Confinement

"The things that seem consistent and clear to me are the support that I receive from my friends, my family and the millions of people all over the world," wrote Chelsea Manning. (Photo: Alicia Neal, in cooperation with Chelsea Manning, commissioned by the Chelsea Manning Support Network)

“The things that seem consistent and clear to me are the support that I receive from my friends, my family and the millions of people all over the world,” wrote Chelsea Manning. (Photo: Alicia Neal, in cooperation with Chelsea Manning, commissioned by the Chelsea Manning Support Network)

This post originally appeared on Common Dreams. Read more of Sarah Lazare’s articles here.

Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, currently serving a 35-year sentence in military prison, now faces the possibility of indefinite solitary confinement for what her supporters and lawyers say are innocuous offenses—like possessing books and magazines related to LGBTQ issues and having expired toothpaste in her cell.

The Chelsea Manning Support Network revealed Tuesday that prison authorities are using the trumped up charges—including “medicine misuse” and “prohibited property”—to silence Manning, who has become a Guardian columnist and outspoken advocate for transgender, privacy, and prisoners’ rights during her incarceration.

Twenty-seven-year-old Manning has already been subjected to nearly a year of solitary confinement under U.S.… Read the rest

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First They Ignore You: The APA and Torture

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. — Mahatma Gandhi

Ten years ago this month, the American Psychological Association (APA) announced to its members that it supported psychologists assisting detainee interrogations in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and CIA black sites. APA officials asserted — against all evidence — that “operational” psychologists helped keep the interrogations “safe, ethical and effective.” Rank and file psychologists criticized the policy as providing legal cover for the Bush administration and began to organize petitions and withhold their APA dues in protest. Hundreds have spent years researching and writing papers, holding conferences, and fighting for legislation to reverse the policy. Thousands of members formally voted against it to no avail as the referendum was buried in an “implementation” committee.

Most critics were ignored by APA officials, while particularly effective dissidents were dismissed with snide comments about their mental health.… Read the rest

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UN Report Card Gives US ‘Failing Grade’ on Human Rights

"These low grades suggest the U.S. has a long way to go before it is in compliance with international law," said Faiza Patel of the Brennan Center for Justice. (Photo: amboo who?/flickr/cc)

“These low grades suggest the U.S. has a long way to go before it is in compliance with international law,” said Faiza Patel of the Brennan Center for Justice. (Photo: amboo who?/flickr/cc)

This post was originally published on Common Dreams. See more of Sarah Lazare’s articles here.

A United Nations committee of independent monitors this week released a damningassessment of human rights in the United States, showing an overall dismal performance on issues from Guantanamo Bay detentions to mass surveillance to accountability for past atrocities—earning what the U.S. Human Rights Network called a “failing grade.”

The United Nations Human Rights Committee’s investigation was one of a handful of periodic reviews aimed at evaluating countries that have ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights established in 1976. In particular, the assessment measured U.S. implementation of the committee’s recommendations for improving the country’s human rights record.… Read the rest

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Psychologists Shielded U.S. Torture Program

As if we didn’t know already (thank you Martha Davis and Doctors of the Dark Side), the medical establishment in the guise of the American Psychological Association, was complicit in the U.S. torture program. A new report is dissected by the New York Times:

The Central Intelligence Agency’s health professionals repeatedly criticized the agency’s post-Sept. 11 interrogation program, but their protests were rebuffed by prominent outside psychologists who lent credibility to the program, according to a new report.

Abu Ghraib 56.jpg

The 542-page report, which examines the involvement of the nation’s psychologists and their largest professional organization, the American Psychological Association, with the harsh interrogation programs of the Bush era, raises repeated questions about the collaboration between psychologists and officials at both the C.I.A. and the Pentagon.

The report, completed this month, concludes that some of the association’s top officials, including its ethics director, sought to curry favor with Pentagon officials by seeking to keep the association’s ethics policies in line with the Defense Department’s interrogation policies, while several prominent outside psychologists took actions that aided the C.I.A.’s interrogation program and helped protect it from growing dissent inside the agency.

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5 Reasons to Kill the Death Penalty

SCOTUS ruled last week that lethal injection, aka death by torture aka being burned alive, is totally legal and not at all a violation of a person’s 8th amendment rights. We’ll get to why that’s a bogus claim but first, here are five statistical and common sense reasons why it’s way past time to kill the death penalty.

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Al-Jazeera Anchor Ahmed Mansour Released, Details of Torture Case Reemerge

Ahmed Mansour

Ahmed Mansour

These videos are allegedly of the torture with Mansour present. NSFW.

Hanad Fayed writes at the Cairo Post:

Despite Egyptian efforts to extradite Al-Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour from Germany to Egypt, he was released Monday from a German prison after two days of detention, Reuters reported the Berlin state prosecutor as saying.

“No one will be extradited from Germany if they face the death penalty,” Reuters quoted spokesperson for the Germany Foreign Ministry Martin Schaefer as saying earlier Monday.

“Egypt has launched a politically motivated campaign against Al-Jazeera and is now abusing the international system,” CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator Sherif Mansour said Sunday.

The Interpol previously rejected an Egyptian request to issue a red notice against Mansour in October 2014 because it did not meet the standards of the Interpol, according to Mansour’s lawyer.

British-Egyptian Al-Jazeera anchor Mansour was arrested Saturday in Berlin while heading to Qatar.

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Amid Torture, Experts Say CIA’s Other Crime Was ‘Human Experimentation’

Detention Camp, Source: Wikipedia

Detention Camp, Source: Wikipedia

This was originally published on Common Dreams. Read more of Jon Queally’s posts here.

After the Central Intelligence Agency was given authority to begin torturing suspected terrorists in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, newly published documents show that another of that program’s transgressions, according to experts, was a gross violation of medical ethics that allowed the agency to conduct what amounted to “human experimentation” on people who became test subjects without consent.

Reported exclusively by the Guardian on Monday, sections of a previously classified CIA document—first obtained by the ACLU—reveal that a long-standing policy against allowing people to become unwitting medical or research subjects remained in place and under the purview of the director of the CIA even as the agency began slamming people into walls, beating them intensely, exposing them to prolonged periods of sleep deprivation, performing repeated sessions of waterboarding, and conducting other heinous forms of psychological and physical abuse.… Read the rest

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‘I Wished They Had Killed Me': Victim of CIA Says Torture Worse Than You Know

Majid Khan is pictured in this 2009 handout photograph taken at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, released on June 1, 2015. (Photo: Center for Constitutional Rights)

Majid Khan is pictured in this 2009 handout photograph taken at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, released on June 1, 2015. (Photo: Center for Constitutional Rights)

Nadia Prupis writes at Common Dreams:

A Guantanamo Bay detainee turned government witness has accused the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of using even more disturbing forms of torture and abuse during secret interrogations than were included in the U.S. Senate’s redacted report last year.

In a newly declassified account published Tuesday by Reuters, Majid Khan said that agents subjected him to waterboarding, poured ice water on his genitals, sexually assaulted him, and threatened to beat him with a hammer, baseball bats, sticks, and leather belts, among other abuses that were not detailed in the Senate report.

“Khan said his feet and lower legs were placed in tall boot-like metal cuffs that dug into his flesh and immobilized his legs. He said he felt that his legs would break if he fell forward while restrained by the cuffs,” writes Reuters investigative journalist David Rohde.

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American Psychological Association Bolstered CIA Torture Program

It’s official: The American Psychological Association helped the US Government create the torture program so brutally rendered at places like Abu Ghraib and depicted so shockingly in the documentary Doctors of the Dark Side. James Risen (yes, that James Risen) reports for the New York Times:

The American Psychological Association secretly collaborated with the administration of President George W. Bush to bolster a legal and ethical justification for the torture of prisoners swept up in the post-Sept. 11 war on terror, according to a new report by a group of dissident health professionals and human rights activists.

APA Report

The report is the first to examine the association’s role in the interrogation program. It contends, using newly disclosed emails, that the group’s actions to keep psychologists involved in the interrogation program coincided closely with efforts by senior Bush administration officials to salvage the program after the public disclosure in 2004 of graphic photos of prisoner abuse by American military personnel at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

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Chicago Poised To Become First City To Pay Reparations For Police Violence

Michael Pereckas (CC BY 2.0)

Michael Pereckas (CC BY 2.0)

Aaron Cynic writes at Chicagoist:

Victims of police torture by Jon Burge and his notorious “midnight crew” are one step closer to reparations today, as Mayor Rahm Emanuel agreed to a package deal for survivors which includes a $5.5 million dollar fund. Survivors of Burge and his men say they were subjected to a variety of abhorrent and brutal torture procedures when being questioned— most often for crimes they knew nothing about— including electro-shock, Russian roulette, mock executions, beatings and more. Burge and the midnight crew tortured suspects to extract false confessions, which landed several men on death row.

According to the deal, a now amended ordinance brokered by the People’s Law Office, Amnesty International, Project NIA, Chicago Torture Memorials and several other groups, some 118 victims of the former Area 2 Commander and their families will be eligible for financial compensation and other benefits.… Read the rest

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