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Denounce Health Professionals’ Involvement in Experiments on Detainees
Washington, June 9, 2010 -- The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) has released a new video, Accounting for Torture, featuring the voices of religious leaders who supporting the message of the Physicians for Human Rights report, Experiments in Torture: Human Subject Research and Evidence in the ‘Enhanced’ Interrogation Program.
The video features the voices of National Council of Churches President Peg Chemberlin, General Secretary Michael Kinnamon, Jim Winkler, director of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, Rabbi Gerry Serotta, Clergy Beyond Borders, the Rev. Richard Cizik, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, and Dr. Scott A. Allen, Physicians for Human Rights.
Click on the picture at right to view the video.
"As religious leaders we commend Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) for their groundbreaking work uncovering and documenting evidence of the involvement of United States military and intelligence health professionals in performing experiments, without consent, on detainees in the custody of the U.S. following September 2001," said the Rev. Richard Rev. Richard L. Killmer, Executive Director of NRCAT.
Killmer released the following statement:
"Such experimentation would violate the legal and ethical protections afforded by the Nuremberg Code, the Geneva Conventions, federal regulations governing human subject research - known as 'The Common Rule' - and the federal War Crimes Act.
"We have adamantly opposed and consistently spoken out against U.S.-sponsored torture. Torture is immoral and abhorrent, violating the teachings of all our religious traditions.
"Just as adamantly, we now condemn these alleged acts of illegal and immoral experimentation. Separate and distinct from the torture, such medical experiments could themselves constitute war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity.
"With painstaking care, the PHR report details how the experiments and the participation of health professionals in the interrogations of detainees were critical components for the fabrication of a legal framework construed to protect interrogators from prosecution for committing acts of torture. The experiments also served to refine the illegal torture practices used by the U.S. government.
"These revelations are profoundly disturbing and raise for us the question of what more remains hidden. The spiritual health of our nation will continue to suffer until the full truth opens a path to the justice and healing that our nation so desperately needs.
"With heavy hearts and a keen sense of urgency, we call upon the President and the Congress to establish a Commission of Inquiry to undertake a comprehensive investigation into the use of torture – including its use in medical experiments on detainees – and to pursue the steps required to ensure that U.S.-sponsored torture will never, ever, again be sanctioned and practiced."
For further comment, you can contact Rev. Richard Killmer directly:
Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive
Director, National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) is a growing membership organization committed to ending U.S.-sponsored torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Since its formation in January 2006, more than 280 religious groups have joined NRCAT, including representatives from the Catholic, evangelical Christian, mainline Protestant, Unitarian Universalist, Quaker, Orthodox Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Baha’i, Buddhist, and Sikh communities. Members include national denominations and faith groups, regional organizations and local congregations.
Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States. The NCC's member faith groups — from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches — include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.
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