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Medical and Humanitarian Organizations Use Three Billboards to Call on UN to Stop Violence in Syria

A coalition of medical and humanitarian organizations, some working inside besieged eastern Ghouta, have urged the United Nations Security Council to vote for an immediate cessation of hostilities to allow urgent humanitarian assistance to all areas in need in Syria.

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PHR Demands Cessation of Hostilities in Syria

As the Syrian area of eastern Ghouta suffered a third successive day of relentless bombing, with reports of hundreds of civilian deaths and more than a dozen health care facilities targeted, Physician for Human Rights put out the following statement, attributable to Director of International Policy and Partnerships Susannah Sirkin.

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PHR Calls on Full Senate to Pass Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today praised the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for advancing the Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act of 2017 (S.2060) and urged the full Senate to pass the bill without delay.

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A Map of Attacks on Health Care in Syria

When medical workers are killed, the human toll is not just their lives, but also the exponential number of people who will suffer without treatment and the many lives that will be lost as a result. When these attacks on health care become as prolonged and widespread as they have in Syria, the consequences reach far beyond the individuals and facilities lost.

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The Difference Doctors Make

When a human rights crisis leads to a humanitarian disaster, doctors have a dual role to play. In Bangladesh, PHR doctors and volunteer health professionals worked side by side to document and treat atrocities committed against Rohingya refugees.

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A Victory for Justice in the Congo

In a stunning victory for justice, a Congolese court has convicted 11 men of crimes against humanity and sentenced them to life in prison for the rapes of dozens of little girls over a three-year period in the village of Kavumu, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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Eastern Ghouta damaged hospital

Issue Brief: Attacks on Health in Syria

PHR’s issue brief highlights the need for a comprehensive U.S. strategy for Syria that prioritizes civilian protection and welfare as attacks on health and human suffering continue unabated. PHR encourages Congress to call on the Trump administration to deliver on these crucial elements.

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Guantanamo Detainee in Shackles

PHR Condemns Trump Executive Order on Guantánamo Bay Detention Center

President Trump announced during tonight’s State of the Union address that he has reversed President Obama’s 2009 order to close the Guantánamo Bay detention center. Dr. Homer Venters, director of programs at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), issued a statement in response.

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PHR Condemns Threats against Turkish Medical Association

Today in Ankara, two pro-government unions held a press conference denouncing the Turkish Medical Association (TMA) and calling on the government to file charges against the organization. This follows two days of threats of physical violence to TMA staff, some of them identified as coming from a government-recognized civilian militia group.

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Dr. Jonathan Fine

PHR Remembers its Founder, Dr. Jonathan Fine

Dr. Jonathan Fine (1931-2018), who died in Cambridge, Massachusetts on January 17, 2018, was the founder and first executive director of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). A primary care physician raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, Fine was already a student activist as an undergraduate at Swarthmore College, before going on to receive his medical training at Yale University and an MPH from Johns Hopkins University.

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PHR Joins NGOs in Appeal to the UN Security Council to Act on Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis

In advance of the United Nations Security Council’s December 12 meeting on the situation in Myanmar, we, a global coalition of 81 human rights, faith-based and humanitarian organizations, urgently call on the Council to take immediate action to address the campaign of ethnic cleansing and mass atrocity crimes, including crimes against humanity, committed against the ethnic Rohingya population by Myanmar’s security forces in northern Rakhine State, as well as the continuing restrictions on humanitarian assistance throughout the state since October 2016.

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Justice is delivered for the children of Kavumu

In an extraordinary and landmark ruling, 11 Congolese militia members were convicted today of crimes against humanity for murder and the rape of 38 young children. The verdict represents a stunning victory for the victims, their families, their community of Kavumu, where the crimes occurred, for the wide array of organizations that mobilized around them, and also for justice in the DRC.

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Parents of Congolese Child Rape Victims Testify in Landmark Trial

The parents of a group of little Congolese girls who were savagely raped during a three-year reign of terror in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) took the stand today in a landmark trial, where Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has provided technical support in gathering forensic evdience.

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Protecting Survivors, Ensuring Justice: Week One of the Kavumu Child Rape Trial

Cloaked from head to toe to shield her identity, the witness was led into the makeshift court room and seated behind a screen. Out of sight of the 18 defendants, she addressed the court.

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PHR Awarded 2017 Dodd Prize in Human Rights

On November 2, 2017, Physicians for Human Rights received the 2017 Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights at the University of Connecticut’s Thomas J. Dodd Research Center in Storrs, Connecticut. As part of the formal award ceremony, former U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd and the Center’s leadership presented PHR Executive Director Donna McKay and board chairman Kerry Sulkowicz with the award.

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PHR and NGOs Urge United States and United Kingdom to end Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen

PHR and other NGOs call on the United States and the United Kingdom to use the upcoming Quint meeting to prevent a catastrophic worsening of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, secure an end to the blockades of Yemen’s ports, and call for a stop to all attacks on civilians.

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PHR Documents Worst String of Hospital Attacks in Syria Since April

Over the past week, Syrian government forces or their Russian allies have launched at least five aerial attacks on three of the main hospitals in Syria’s Idlib governorate, the most concentrated string of hospital attacks Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has verified in Syria since April.

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Raqqa Offensive Has Destroyed City’s Health Care System

Intense fighting in Raqqa has devastated the Syrian city’s health care system, even as the offensive to release the city from ISIS control has increased the need for emergency services among an ever more desperate population. In interviews with health professionals and relief personnel, PHR has confirmed that Raqqa’s poorly-equipped National Hospital is now the only health care facility operating to serve tens of thousands of people remaining in the city.

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Human Rights Trailblazer at 100

In September, Physicians for Human Rights celebrated the 100th birthday of one of our co-founders, Dr. Carola Eisenberg. With a career spanning well over five decades, Dr. Eisenberg has been a trailblazing physician and human rights advocate.

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PHR Statement on Torture Lawsuit Settlement

Today the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced a settlement in its historic lawsuit against the two psychologists who designed and implemented the post-9/11 CIA torture program. Physicians for Human Rights has long investigated the role of health professionals in designing, implementing, and legitimizing U.S. torture, in violation of the law and medical ethics.

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PHR Statement on Post-Election Developments in Kenya

As post-election demonstrations in Kenya continue, PHR condemns excessive use of violence against peaceful protesters as well as credible allegations that police have threatened sexual violence against Kenyans. We demand swift investigations and accountability into any wrongdoing, and call for respect for human rights on all sides.

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The CIA's Program of Human Experimentation

This June, PHR published a report showing that the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program constituted a regime of illegal human experimentation. Senior Anti-Torture Fellow Sarah Dougherty was the lead author of PHR’s latest report and explains how she came to these conclusions.

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Attacks in Syria and Yemen are turning disease into a weapon of war

Today we are seeing another cruel method of warfare emerge on the battlefield: the weaponization of disease, particularly in Syria and Yemen.

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Letter to Secretary of Health Republic of the Philippines

PHR urges Philippines Secretary of Health to undertake a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation into claims of medical complicity, and take all measures necessary to ensure that no health staff or health systems under their authority take part in human rights abuses.

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Neither Justice nor Treatment

Drug courts in the United States routinely fail to provide adequate, medically-sound treatment for substance use disorders, with treatment plans that are at times designed and facilitated by individuals with little to no medical training. In this report, Physicians for Human Rights shows how drug courts – designed to reduce incarceration and provide necessary treatment – struggle to meet medical and human rights standards.

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PHR Unveils Anti-Torture Pledge for Health Professionals

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today launched a pledge for health professionals across the United States to stand together in their rejection of torture, voicing the consensus that torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment are absolutely prohibited in all circumstances.

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Physicians for Human Rights Statement on Alleged Chemical Strike in Khan Sheikhoun

Today, PHR condemns the apparent chemical weapon attack in the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s Idlib governorate, as well as a suspected strike on the town’s medical facility, which was treating victims of the chemical attack.

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Access Denied: UN Aid Deliveries to Syria’s Besieged and Hard-to-Reach Areas

As the conflict in Syria enters its seventh grueling year, Physicians for Human Rights calls attention to the Syrian government’s continued practice of deliberately and illegally manipulating UN humanitarian access to millions of people trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas of the country.

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Turkey Again Postpones Trial of Human Rights Defender

PHR says arbitrary case against Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı must be dropped.

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Revised Immigration Order Continues to Punish Refugees and Asylum Seekers

PHR condemns President Trump’s revised executive order on immigration, in particular its 120-day suspension of new refugee admissions.

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PHR Appeals for Release of Imprisoned Iranian Doctor

PHR sent this letter to the Supreme Leader of Iran expressing our deep concern over the imprisonment of Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali on false charges.

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PHR Urges Trump to Reject Torture

PHR joins human rights groups in urging U.S. President Donald Trump to refrain from any executive action that would revive the use of torture or any other abusive interrogation or detention techniques.

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PHR Urges Russian Medical Community to Protect Health in Syria

PHR joins medical colleagues around the world in urging the Russian medical community to demand that its government ease the health care crisis in Syria.

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A Global Trump Effect

Many of the people I know, myself included, didn’t believe Donald Trump could win the presidency. While we don’t yet know the impact President-elect Trump will have on human rights around the world, there is reason for all of us who care about human rights and freedoms to be concerned.

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Physicians for Human Rights Welcomes UN Vote Halting Bloodshed in Syria

As the UN Security Council today unanimously passed a resolution aimed at halting the bloodshed in Syria (SCR 2401), including in the besieged region of eastern Ghouta, where five successive days of bombing have killed hundreds of people, PHR put out the following statement.

Physicians for Human Rights Condemns Attacks against Civilians in Eastern Ghouta

In response to the ongoing assault against Syrian civilians and health facilities in eastern Ghouta, Susannah Sirkin, Director for International Policy and Partnerships at Physicians for Human Rights, issued the following statement.

U.S. Funding for Accountability Mechanism in Syria is a Step in the Right Direction

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced today that the United States will provide $350,000 for the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM), which was created by the UN in 2016 to provide accountability for the “most serious crimes under international law” committed in the Syrian conflict. Susannah Sirkin, director of international policy and partnerships at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), issued the following statement in response.

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“We’re Seeing the Lucky Ones.” (February 12, 2018)

Children with gunshot wounds, severe burns, traumatic injuries – these are just some of the atrocities PHR’s team of doctors documented on their recent trip to Bangladesh, where nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled to escape a campaign of brutal violence by the Myanmar military. “The thing that really strikes me is that … we’re seeing the lucky ones, the lucky ones who were able to survive,” says PHR’s Dr. Rohini Haar.

Documenting Violence Against the Rohingyas Firsthand: Evidence That Can’t Be Ignored (December 22, 2017)

Military leaders in Myanmar falsely claim they have mounted this brutal attack on civilians, many of them children, because they are “terrorists.” The forensic evidence in these cases tells a vastly different story — the truth.

A Victory for Justice in the Congo (December 19, 2017)

In a stunning victory for justice, a Congolese court has convicted 11 men of crimes against humanity and sentenced them to life in prison for the rapes of dozens of little girls over a three-year period in the village of Kavumu, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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Joint Letter to Turkish President Erdoğan Condemning Persecution of Medical Professionals (January 2018)

PHR has signed a joint letter to Turkish President Erdoğan expressing grave concern over the ongoing persecution of the Turkish Medical Association (TMA). The TMA’s leadership was arrested this week following days of threats and protests over a recent statement by the group criticizing war as a public health threat.

PHR Remembers its Founder, Dr. Jonathan Fine (January 2018)

Dr. Jonathan Fine (1931-2018), who died in Cambridge, Massachusetts on January 17, 2018, was the founder and first executive director of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). A primary care physician raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, Fine was already a student activist as an undergraduate at Swarthmore College, before going on to receive his medical training at Yale University and an MPH from Johns Hopkins University.

Issue Brief: Attacks on Health in Syria (January 2018)

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on January 11, 2018, Senators will examine U.S. policy in Syria. PHR’s issue brief highlights the need for a comprehensive U.S. strategy for Syria that prioritizes civilian protection and welfare as attacks on health and human suffering continue unabated.

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