In a major development on the issue of maltreatment at Guantanamo, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak has written today to James Bray, President of the American Psychological Association, indicating that he has determined that Guantanamo prison is “outside, or in violation of, international law.” Nowak cites ongoing arbitrary detention, forced feeding of hunger strikers, use of isolation, rough physical treatment, and past practice of torture as reasons for his decision. He concludes:
Given the now public record of psychologists’ involvement in the design, supervision, implementation, and legitimization of a regime of physical and psychological torture at US military and intelligence facilities, including Guantánamo, it is incumbent upon the APA to ensure that its standards comport with international law as well as the UN Principles of Medical Ethics Relevant to the Role of Health Personnel. These instruments require an absolute ethical prohibition of psychologists’ presence or involvement in these operations. [continued…].
The Obama Administration is asking the Supreme Court to block the public release of detainee abuse photos that were the subject of a high-profile reversal by President Barack Obama earlier this year.
On Friday afternoon, the Justice Department filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking it to overturn an appeals court decision requiring the Pentagon to disclose the photos, which depict alleged abuse of prisoners in U.S. military custody in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The President of the United States and the Nation’s highest-ranking military officers responsible for ongoing combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have determined that disclosure by the government of the photographs at issue in this case would pose a significant risk to the lives and physical safety of American military and civilian personnel by inciting violence targeting those personnel,” Solicitor General Elena Kagan wrote. [continued…]