Medical Professionals Welcome Senate Decision to Share the Truth on CIA Torture

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Vesna Jaksic Lowe, Media Relations Manager, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR); 917.679.0110 (Cell); vjaksiclowe@phrusa.org

Samantha Friedman, West End Strategy Team
Office: (202) 776-7700; Cell: (202) 215-9260; Samantha@westendstrategy.com

Medical Professionals Welcome Senate Decision to Share the Truth on CIA Torture

Senate Committee Agrees to Make Parts of Report Publicly Available

WASHINGTON - Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) welcomed today’s bipartisan decision by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) to declassify the executive summary and 20 findings and conclusions in the committee’s report on CIA detention and interrogation practices. PHR urged the White House to ensure the information is promptly released to the public with as few redactions as possible.

The committee spent some $40 million in taxpayer money over three years compiling a 6,300-page report on U.S. officials’ detention, rendition, and interrogation practices, but the report has not yet been made public. Today’s 11-3 vote means parts of the report can be released, pending a formal declassification process. Those familiar with the report say that it details the agency’s use of torture and finds that such crimes did not promote our national security.

“The American public deserves to know how our government engaged in torture, so that we can make sure these immoral and illegal acts are not repeated,” said Andrea Gittleman, PHR’s interim director of U.S. policy. “Releasing this report is a crucial step toward transparency and will hopefully start a new chapter in our country’s history that elevates truth and promotes accountability.”

PHR has documented the unethical use of medical professionals in torture and ill-treatment and has long called for a full investigation into the medical community’s involvement. Medical community leaders have spoken out about the need to release the CIA torture report. As part of a national initiative led by PHR to encourage the medical community to press their senators to vote in favor of the report’s release, medical and health professionals in Maine launched a statewide campaign urging Senators Susan Collins and Angus King – both of whom serve on the Intelligence Committee – to vote in support of releasing the critical information contained in the report in order to prevent future abuses. Both senators indicated their intent to vote in favor of declassification and release of parts of the report earlier this week.

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PHR was founded in 1986 on the idea that health professionals, with their specialized skills, ethical duties, and credible voices, are uniquely positioned to investigate the health consequences of human rights violations and work to stop them. PHR mobilizes health professionals to advance health, dignity, and justice and promotes the right to health for all.

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