Intended for healthcare professionals


Human rights group accuses US psychiatrists of unethical treatment of prisoners

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 21 March 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1792
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. 1New York

US psychiatrists are not fulfilling their duty to protect military prisoners from torture, concludes a doctors’ human rights organisation.

Physicians for Human Rights, which is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says that military psychiatrists are complicit in torture in the case of the imprisoned soldier Bradley Manning. Private Manning, a suspected source of numerous WikiLeaks documents revealing US disasters in Afghanistan, including the helicopter killing of civilians in Baghdad, has been held for nine months in solitary confinement in a 2 m by 4 m cell in Quantico, Virginia. Private Manning has not been tried or convicted of any crimes.

His lawyer and his father say that he has been subjected to humiliation and sleep deprivation. Because he has been placed on a “prevention of injury” watch, …

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