Showing posts with label Torture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Torture. Show all posts

April 18, 2020

Peru Found Responsible For The Detention, Torture and Rape of An LGBT Person

Bangalore, India
 LGBTQ rights activists and transgender people participate in a candlelight vigil in Bangalore, India on Nov. 20, 2018 as part of International Transgender Day of Remembrance. The annual day of observance is held in memory of those who have died as a result of transphobia. (MANJUNATH KIRAN / AFP/Getty Images)

The top human rights court in the Americas has found Peru responsible for the arbitrary detention and rape of an LGBT person.
Azul Rojas Marín was stripped, hit and raped with a truncheon by three officers while in custody in 2008, her legal team said.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights said it was an act of torture.
It is the court's first ruling on a complaint of torture against the LGBT community.
Peru's government has not yet commented.
There has been growing acceptance of LGBT people in Peru, but many still face legal challenges and widespread prejudice. Same-sex couples are not allowed to marry or enter into civil unions, but trans people can change their gender legally.
In February 2008, Ms Rojas Marín - who is now a transwoman but was then living as a gay man - was detained late at night and taken to a police station in the northern town of Casa Grande.
The human rights groups which represented her - Redress, Peruvian group Promsex and Peru's National Coordinator for Human Rights - said she was beaten, verbally abused for her sexual orientation and robbed of her belongings.
Ms Rojas Marín filed a criminal complaint against the police officers, but the case was dismissed by state prosecutors. Activists then took it to the Inter-American Court on her behalf.
The court was established by the Organization of American States (OAS), and hears cases of human rights abuses in Latin America. It can order governments to investigate crimes and compensate victims.
In the 12 March ruling made public on Monday, it said Ms Rojas Marín's detention was "without a motive", based on "discrimination", and therefore was "illegal and arbitrary".
"[Ms Rojas Marín] was forcibly stripped naked, beaten on several occasions, tortured and raped… constituting an act of torture against the victim," the court said in a statement. "Consequently, the Court has declared Peru's international responsibility for the violation of [her] rights."
The court also said that in the country there were "strong prejudices" against the LGBT population and that, in certain cases, they are manifested in violent acts including by state agents.
The ruling ordered the Peruvian government to pay Ms Rojas Marín unspecified damages, provide her with psychological treatment, adopt new protocols for investigating attacks against LGBT people and track statistics of violence against the community.
Redress called the ruling "ground-breaking," pointing out that it not only ordered Peru to redress the damage done to Ms Rojas Marín "but also prevent these crimes being repeated", including providing training to state officials regarding LGBT rights.
Ms Rojas Marín said she had "no words to describe how I feel". "After all that happened, a court finally believed in my word," she said.

September 29, 2017

Tortured, Eyes Gouged Out and Killed in Texas Because of His Gender Identity

I would like to share with you this page from USA Today It makes me sick just to post it but here it is and is something we have to be made aware. When violence like this happens we need to know because is both a bell's gong signaling we are not there yet and we need to shead light to these dark-hearts evil people because the light kills many germs. Hope it kills these ones.  Adam

Joey Steinfeld, also known as Ally, was killed in early September. Steinfeld's burned remains were found in Texas County. Three people have been charged with first degree murder and abandonment of a corpse. Another has been charged with tampering with evidence and abandonment of a corpse.Wochit

Missouri authorities say they don't believe the killing of a transgender teen was motivated by the 17-year-old's gender identity, despite the horrific details of the gruesome death.
The burned remains of Ally Steinfeld, born Joseph Matthew Steinfeld, were found last week near a mobile home just north of Cabool in southern Missouri.
Two young women, Briana Calderas, 24, and Isis Schauer, 18, told authorities they helped burn Steinfeld's body after 18-year-old Andrew Vrba gouged out Steinfeld's eyes, repeatedly stabbed the teen — including multiple times in the genitals — and bragged about the killing earlier this month, according to court records.
Vrba told investigators he initially tried to poison Steinfield, then described how he stabbed Steinfeld in the living room of Calderas' mobile home, according to a probable cause statement.
However, the Associated Press reports that Texas County Prosecutor Parke Stevens Jr. and Sheriff James Sigman both say the teen's gender identity wasn't a motivator in the killing.
No motive is given in the probable cause statement. All three are charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and abandonment of a corpse.

"I would say murder in the first-degree is all that matters," Stevens Jr. told the Associated Press. "That is a hate crime in itself."
Missouri law allows certain low-level felonies and serious misdemeanors to be charged as hate offenses, if prosecutors believe an offender was motivated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation or disability of the victim or victims. In that case, there can be "enhanced penalties for certain offenses."
The charges filed against those accused in Steinfeld's killing are not covered by the hate offense statute — first-degree murder already carries more significant penalties than a hate offense.
At the federal level, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act allows criminal prosecution of hate crimes motivated by the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, race, color, religion, national origin or disability. But to do so, a federal agency would have to take the case to court.

'I want them to fry in the chair'

Steinfeld identified as a male-to-female transgender lesbian on social media and spoke with her sister, Ashleigh Boswell, about being transgender.
Boswell said Steinfield had been dating Calderas for about three weeks and seemed happy. The last time Boswell spoke with Steinfield was on Sept. 1. Boswell said Steinfield said she was trouble but didn't go into details.
"We honestly don't understand why they done it," Boswell said. "It just don't make any sense."
Steinfeld's father, Joseph Steinfeld Sr., said the family got worried when no one heard from the teen on Sept. 9, what would have been the younger Steinfeld's 18th birthday. The family traveled from their home near St. Louis to Texas County to hand out missing person fliers and talk to teen's new group of friends — the same people who are now suspects in the murder.
"I personally talked to AJ (Andrew Vrba). The hand that killed my son, he shook my hand," Joseph Steinfeld Sr. said. "I want them to fry in the chair. I want them to get the needle. I don't know how somebody can do what they did to my child."
He and his wife, Amber, say they are angry that they had to learn the gruesome details about their child's death in the media and not from investigators.
"It's a nightmare we can't wake up from."

Authorities say the three suspects burned Steinfeld's body, placed some of the bones into a garbage bag and put the bag in the chicken coop. Calderas admitted helping burn the body and led authorities to the knife used in the killing, according to the probable cause statement.
A fourth person, James T. Grigsby, has been arrested in connection with Steinfeld's death. Grigsby, who is about 25, according to court records, is charged with abandonment of a corpse and tampering with evidence in a felony case.
Steinfeld Sr. said he is waiting for investigators to come to his house and take DNA samples from him and his wife so their child's body can be identified. After the results come back in a few weeks, then the family can begin making funeral arrangements.
"I don't know how I'm going to pay to bury him," the upset father said. "But I can't cremate him again."

'I am proud to be trans. I am beautiful'

Steinfeld grew up mostly in House Springs, Mo., near St. Louis, the teen's mother Amber Steinfeld told the Associated Press. The family moved briefly to Florida, then to Texas County, an area of rugged hills in southern Missouri.
Steinfeld dropped out of high school upon turning 17, Amber Steinfeld said. At about the same time, the rest of the family moved back to House Springs, but Steinfeld stayed in Houston, Mo., living with different friends.
In May, Steinfeld posted on Instagram that she was coming out and was "mtf," or male-to-female. In a posting on June 13, Steinfeld referred to herself as "Trans male to female and I am mostly lesbian but pansexual." In another that same day she wrote, "I am proud to be me I am proud to be trans I am beautiful I don't care what people think." 
Steinfeld's parents acknowledge their teen "wanted to be a girl" and "identified as female." But both Amber and Joseph Steinfeld Sr. continue to use male pronouns when referencing the teen.
LGBTQ community, advocates weigh in
The teen's murder has drawn the attention of LGBTQ individuals, groups and advocates from around the world.
Steph Perkins, executive director of LGBTQ advocacy group PROMO, said "We don't know enough about what happened to really speculate (if the murder was a hate crime)... But the things we do know align with other acts of violence against transgender people.
"When someone is targeted because of their gender identity, I think it's especially important to look at that because clearly we in the U.S. are not doing a good job about teaching each other how we all deserve to be treated with respect, safety and dignity," he continued. "If this murder did relate to Steinfeld's gender identity, it's important for us as a state and Houston as a city to be able to talk about that and what that means."
Meredith Talusan is a transgender writer and advocate who has studied more than 100 cases of trans murders for Unerased, an investigative feature and database for online news site Mic.
Talusan lives in New York but has been keeping up with news stories about Steinfeld's death.
"Given the information that is publicly available, especially the fact that the victim was stabbed in the genitals, I do think that eliminating the possibility of a hate crime being committed is premature," she said. "That also isn't unusual. There have been a number of cases in which police departments early on in the case don't pursue a hate crime as a possibility."
Chris Sgro, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, said Steinfeld was the 21st transgender person killed this year in the U.S.
"This violence, often motivated by hatred, must come to an end," Sgro told the Associated Press. "We will continue to mourn Ally and fight back against transphobia and anti-trans violence."
Anti-Defamation League regional director Karen Aroesty said in a statement: “We are deeply concerned about the gruesome murder of Ally, clearly a young transgender woman. We commend law enforcement officials for the swiftness of their investigation but urge them to investigate the horrific details of the murder based on her self-identified status as transgender.
"Whether the incident should ultimately be considered to be hate-based depends on a number of factors but most important, whether the perpetrators targeted Ally because of her trans status. Hate crimes not only cause unique harm to the victim, but also affect the entire community.”
Contributing: The Associated Press

November 3, 2016

Ugandans Emphasize Police Use Torture to Proof Homosexuality

It was early in the morning when Jackson Mukasa was awakened by the chants outside his Kampala home. 
"The homos are in there!" the crowd yelled, banging spoons on metal cooking pots. 
Mukasa, a 21-year-old gay man living in the Ugandan capital, was terrified. 
"We opened the door, and there were police and people everywhere. The local councilman was there, yelling 'Out with the homos! You are scaring people in the area.' I still have scars from the beatings that followed," Mukasa said. 
It was January 2014. After being beaten by the mob, the police took Mukasa and a male friend staying with him in for questioning, he said. 
They were both subjected to forced anal examinations, said Mukasa. 
"We were questioned, beaten again, forced to admit to homosexuality. They took us to … (a) clinic in Kampala where we were examined," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. 
"It is so painful. The doctor puts a machine up your rectum. It hurts so much, and there is blood," he said in a phone interview.  

Photo taken on February 14, 2010 shows Ugandans taking part in an anti-gay demonstration at Jinja, Kampala. Trevor Snapp / AFP/Getty Images

Uganda is one of 36 countries in Africa where homosexuality is illegal, and one of eight countries globally where Human Rights Watch has compiled evidence of the use of forced anal examinations to "prove" homosexuality. 
Emilian Kayima, a Kampala police spokesman, denied that forced examinations took place. 
"We do not need anal examination to prove a person is gay. When we arrest gay people, we take them to the courts of law because what they are engaging in is illegal under the laws of Uganda," Kayima told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. 
"If any gay person claims they have been tortured or forced to undergo anal examination, they need to come forward with evidence stating when and where it happened instead of running to the press to make baseless claims," Kayima added. 
The Ugandan health ministry declined to answer questions from the Thomson Reuters Foundation. 
However, local rights campaigners and Human Rights Watch say Mukasa is one of several victims of forced anal examinations in the east African country. They say while the practice is used ostensibly to prevent the transmission of HIV, it is merely a form of discrimination and abuse. 
Uganda lawyer Nicholas Opiyo is preparing a constitutional case to ban forced anal examinations. He believes the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act is used illegally, as an excuse to "prove" homosexuality. 
"They are using the law as an excuse to carry out the examinations. We want them banned," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from Kampala in a phone interview. 
"In all the cases we have dealt with, people are arrested and taken to certain clinics," he said, describing how Mukasa's case was typical. 
Like most of sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda is highly religious and socially conservative. Violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people is common and politicians have long tried to pass legislation that denies basic rights to the LGBT community. 
A law passed more than two years ago, punishing gay sex with long prison terms, provoked an international storm of protest and led some donor countries to withhold aid. 
The constitutional court overturned the law - formerly known as the "Kill the Gays" bill because a first draft included the death penalty for gay sex - on a technicality in August 2014. 
Cases like Mukasa's are not designed to get LGBT people convicted in court, according to Opiyo. "The examinations aren't used as evidence, they are used as a tool to dehumanize and stigmatize," he said. 
Mukasa, who used to work in a restaurant, said police and authorities made no attempt to hide his identity. "I cannot walk the street, I cannot get medicine, I do not have any money and cannot claim benefits because I am a homosexual," he said. 
According to experts such examinations have no validity, either legally or medically. 
"There is absolutely no value in such examinations for this purpose," Vincent Iacopino, medical director at Physicians for Human Rights, said by phone from the United States. 
He said the examinations were unethical, harmful, and in some cases, torture. 
Asger Kjaerum, advocacy director at the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, agreed. "These practices lack both scientific value and violate international standards on the ban of torture and ill-treatment," he said in an email from Copenhagen. 
Homosexuality was banned in Uganda in 1952. In recent years, assaults against LGBT people have been on the rise, according to Human Rights Watch, fueled by the anti-gay policies of President Yoweri Museveni's government. 
"Heated discourse around the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act and its draconian provisions appears to have led to an increase in harassment of persons perceived to be LGBT by civilians and the police alike," Neela Ghoshal, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, said in a report this year. 
Human rights lawyer Opiyo is currently preparing his case, and expects to file it within the coming months. "Anal examinations are a form of torture, a violation of the Ugandan Constitution, the African Charter, and international human rights. We want them banned," he said. 
"If the court declares the practice unconstitutional, the examinations will be unlawful, meaning anyone engaged in performing the examinations could be sued," he said. 
Mukasa's case was eventually dismissed due to lack of evidence, but he says he feels convicted, and is serving a sentence - albeit out of jail. 
He has changed his identity since the case, and is now living in a shelter, isolated from family and friends. 
"I have lost my job because of the case," he said. "People know who I am, I can't leave my house. I cannot get a taxi, I cannot get a job, all because of the case.”


May 1, 2015

Ame.Psychological Asso. Collaborated with Bush to Justify Torture


The American Psychological Association secretly collaborated with the administration of President George W. Bush to bolster a legal and ethical justification for the torture of prisoners swept up in the post-Sept. 11 war on terror, according to a new report by a group of dissident health professionals and human rights activists.

The report is the first to examine the association’s role in the interrogation program. It contends, using newly disclosed emails, that the group’s actions to keep psychologists involved in the interrogation program coincided closely with efforts by senior Bush administration officials to salvage the program after the public disclosure in 2004 of graphic photos of prisoner abuse by American military personnel at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. 

video Anatomy of an InterrogationAPRIL 19, 2015
“The A.P.A. secretly coordinated with officials from the C.I.A., White House and the Department of Defense to create an A.P.A. ethics policy on national security interrogations which comported with then-classified legal guidance authorizing the C.I.A. torture program,” the report’s authors conclude.
Report on American Psychological Association’s Role in Bush-Era Interrogation Program
The organization’s involvement “undermines the fundamental ethical standards of the profession,” argues a group of dissident health professionals and activists.

The involvement of health professionals in the Bush-era interrogation program was significant because it enabled the Justice Department to argue in secret opinions that the program was legal and did not constitute torture, since the interrogations were being monitored by health professionals to make sure they were safe.

The interrogation program has since been shut down, and last year the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a detailed report that described the program as both ineffective and abusive.

Rhea Farberman, a spokeswoman for the American Psychological Association, denied that the group had coordinated its actions with the government. There “has never been any coordination between A.P.A. and the Bush administration on how A.P.A. responded to the controversies about the role of psychologists in the interrogations program,” she said.

The Bush administration relied more heavily on psychologists than psychiatrists or other health professionals to monitor many interrogations, at least in part because the psychological association was supportive of the involvement of psychologists in interrogations, a senior Pentagon official explained publicly in 2006.


Report on American Psychological Association’s Role in Bush-Era Interrogation Program 

The organization’s involvement “undermines the fundamental ethical standards of the profession,” argues a group of dissident health professionals and activists.

The American Psychological Association “clearly supports the role of psychologists in a way our behavioral science consultants operate,” said Dr. William Winkenwerder, then the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, describing to reporters why the Pentagon relied more on psychologists than psychiatrists at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. “The American Psychiatric Association, on the other hand, I think had a great deal of debate about that, and there were some who were less comfortable with that.”

By June 2004, the Bush administration’s torture program was in trouble. The public disclosure of the images of prisoners being abused at the Abu Ghraib prison earlier that year prompted an intense debate about the way the United States was treating detainees in the global war on terror, leading to new scrutiny of the C.I.A.’s so-called enhanced interrogation program. Congress and the news media were starting to ask questions, and there were new doubts about whether the program was legal.

On June 4, 2004, the C.I.A. director, George J. Tenet, signed a secret order suspending the agency’s use of the enhanced interrogation techniques, while asking for a policy review to make sure the program still had the Bush administration’s backing.

“I strongly believe that the administration needs to now review its previous legal and policy positions with respect to detainees to assure that we all speak in a united and unambiguous voice about the continued wisdom and efficacy of those positions in light of the current controversy,” Mr. Tenet wrote in a memo that has since been declassified.

At that critical moment, the American Psychological Association took action that its critics now say helped the troubled interrogation program.

In early June 2004, a senior official with the association, the nation’s largest professional organization for psychologists, issued an invitation to a carefully selected group of psychologists and behavioral scientists inside the government to a private meeting to discuss the crisis and the role of psychologists in the interrogation program.

Psychologists from the C.I.A. and other agencies met with association officials in July, and by the next year the association issued guidelines that reaffirmed that it was acceptable for its members to be involved in the interrogation program.
To emphasize their argument that the association grew too close to the interrogation program, the critics’ new report cites a 2003 email from a senior psychologist at the C.I.A. to a senior official at the psychological association. In the email, the C.I.A. psychologist appears to be confiding in the association official about the work of James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the private contractors who developed and helped run the enhanced interrogation program at the C.I.A.’s secret prisons around the world.

In the email, written years before the involvement of the two contractors in the interrogation program was made public, the C.I.A. psychologist explains to the association official that the contractors “are doing special things to special people in special places.”

More than a decade after George J. Tenet, then the C.I.A. director, signed a secret order suspending the agency’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques, the American Psychological Association’s actions are coming under scrutiny. Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images
More than a decade later, the association’s actions during that critical time are coming under new scrutiny. Last November, the association’s board ordered an independent review of the organization’s role in the interrogation program. That review, led by David Hoffman, a Chicago lawyer, is now underway.

“We have been given a mandate by the A.P.A. to be completely independent in our investigation, and that is how we have been conducting our inquiry,” Mr. Hoffman said. “We continue to gather evidence and talk with witnesses and expect to complete the investigation later this spring.”

The three lead authors of the report are longtime and outspoken critics of the association: Stephen Soldz, a clinical psychologist and professor at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis; Steven Reisner, a clinical psychologist and founding member of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology; and Nathaniel Raymond, the director of the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and the former director of the campaign against torture at Physicians for Human Rights. 

“In 2004 and 2005 the C.I.A. torture program was threatened from within and outside the Bush administration,” Mr. Soldz said by email. “Like clockwork, the A.P.A. directly addressed legal threats at every critical juncture facing the senior intelligence officials at the heart of the program. In some cases the A.P.A. even allowed these same Bush officials to actually help write the association’s policies.” 

Ms. Farberman, the association’s spokeswoman, said that the group would wait until Mr. Hoffman’s investigation was complete before responding further, and so would not comment in detail on the critics’ report.

“We are focused on the independent review,” Ms. Farberman said.

For years, questions about the role of American psychologists and behavioral scientists in the development and use of the Bush-era interrogation program have been raised by human rights advocates as well as by critics within the psychological profession.

The critics frequently criticized the 2005 findings of an association committee, the Presidential Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security, or PENS, which concluded that it was appropriate for psychologists to remain involved with interrogations, to make sure they remained safe, legal, ethical and effective. The PENS report eventually drew so much criticism from within the psychological profession that the association was forced to retract its permissive guidelines.

But the degree to which the association allowed psychologists and other behavioral scientists from the national security agencies to help craft the PENS Task Force’s report was not fully understood until the recent disclosure of a trove of emails from one behavioral science researcher who died in 2008.

The emails are those of Scott Gerwehr, a researcher who worked at the RAND Corporation and later at a defense contractor who had close ties to behavioral scientists both at the psychological association and in the national security agencies.

The Gerwehr emails include many between association officials and government psychologists on which he was copied by friends and colleagues. The new report by the association’s critics is based in part on a comprehensive analysis of his email archive. 

After the PENS Task Force completed its work in 2005, Mr. Gerwehr was copied on an email from Geoffrey Mumford, the director of science policy at the association, to Kirk Hubbard, a psychologist at the C.I.A., thanking Mr. Hubbard for helping to influence the outcome of the task force.

“Your views were well represented by very carefully selected task force members,” Mr. Mumford wrote. “I thought you and many of those copied here would be interested to know that A.P.A. grabbed the bull by the horns and released this Task Force report today.”

By that time, Mr. Hubbard had just left the C.I.A. to work for Mitchell Jessen and Associates, the company the contractors had created to conduct their work on the interrogation program.

December 10, 2014

Preferred CIA Torture, Rectal Feeding

Detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Image: Shane T. McCoy, Wikimedia
This great piece of reporting was originally posted at Motherboard.vice

When the CIA 'torture report' report was finally declassified, freshly re-outraged Americans were, sadly, familiar with many of the terms—waterboarding, sleep deprivation, abuse—that splashed across headlines and cable news tickers. But there was at least one newly-surfaced atrocity revealed in the report, too. Interrogators had subjected at least five detainees to 'rectal feeding' and 'rectal rehydration,' often against their will. 
The CIA, it turns out, had administered rectal feedings and hydration both to counteract prisoner hunger strikes and to exercise "behavioral control" over the detainees. 
The new documents reveal, often in disturbing detail, how rectal rehydration was employed to humiliate and injure inmates at Guantanamo and other detention sites. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) was one high-profile recipient of the treatment; it was used on four others, and threatened on even more.
Rectal rehydration, or proctoclysis, is essentially the act of infusing a patient's rectum with large quantities of fluids through a drip system—it's a century-old technique that rose to prominence during World War I. It was invented by an American surgeon named John Benjamin Murphy (the apparatus is called the Murphy Drip to this day), and was used to both deliver drugs and to keep patients hydrated when they lost use of their mouth.  
The Murphy Drip. Image Wikimedia
Over the course of the century, as physicians became more skilled at administering intravenous therapy, the Murphy Drip fell out of regular use. In  ​a 2010 article in the journal Emergency Nurse, the author notes that while rectal rehydration is still occasionally used in Chinese medicine to administer herbal remedies, "With the widespread use of intravenous infusions in contemporary emergency nursing, some might question whether there is a place for proctoclysis."
But the CIA used it anyway, and often.
"At least five CIA detainees were subjected to 'rectal rehydration' or rectal feeding without documented medical necessity," the torture document explains. 
This is why.
"CIA medical officers discussed rectal rehydration as a means of behavior control," the torture report noted. "As one officer wrote, '[w]hile IV infusion is safe and effective, we were impressed with the ancillary effectiveness of rectal infusion on ending the water refusal in a similar case.'" 
Translation: Administering water and saline through an IV drip worked perfectly well to keep detainees hydrated and fed, but rectal rehydrations had a penchant for degrading prisoners until they ended their hunger strikes.
For those curious about how the procedure was carried out, allow the CIA to explain: 
"The same officer provided a description of the procedure, writing that '[r]egarding the rectal tube, if you place it and open up the IV tubing, the flow will self regulate, sloshing up the large intestines ...  [w]hat I infer is that you get a tube up as far as you can, then open the IV wide. No need to squeeze the bag—let gravity do its work.'" 
And a few other revealing details:
"The same email exchange included a description of a previous application of the technique, in which 'we used the largest Ewal [sic] tube we had'...  As described in the context of the rectal feeding of al-Nashiri, Ensure was infused into al-Nashiri 'in a forward-facing position (Trendlenberg) with head lower than torso.'"
It wasn't just hydration; detainees' meals were also liquified and administered rectally, as in the case of Majid Khan. The CIA claims that Khan, who was attempting a hunger strike, had initially cooperated with rectal feeding. But "After approximately three weeks, the CIA developed a more aggressive treatment regimen 'without unnecessary conversation.'"
Image: Patient with Murphy Drip. Via ​Lecture on Dietetics
After that, his force-feeding veered towards the inhumane:
"Majid Khan was then subjected to involuntary rectal feeding and rectal hydration, which included two bottles of Ensure. Later that same day, Majid Khan's 'lunch tray,' consisting of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts, and raisins, was 'pureed' and rectally infused. Additional sessions of rectal feeding and hydration followed." 
The humiliation inflicted by such practices apparently took its toll: "In addition to his hunger strikes, Majid Klian engaged in acts of self-harm that included attempting to cut his wrist on two occasions, an attempt to chew into his arm at the inner elbow, an attempt to cut a vein in the top of his foot, and an attempt to cut into his skin at the elbow joint using a filed toothbrush."
Beyond the drips, the documents show that the CIA had a predilection for violating detainees rectums.  ​Previously leaked documents showed that agents "sodomized, tortured" a German-born terror suspect back in 2003, and the new report reveals violent behavior during cavity searches:
"CIA leadership, including General Counsel Scott Muller and DDO James Pavitt, was also alerted to allegations that rectal exams were conducted with 'excessive force' on two detainees at DETENTION SITE COBALT... CIA records indicate that one of the detainees, Mustafa al-Hawsawi, was later diagnosed with chronic hemorrhoids, an anal fissure, and symptomatic rectal prolapse."
It goes without saying, but all of these detainees who are being routinely rectally violated, have never stood trial. That goes too for the most famous of them, who apparently was administered rectal feedings on more than one occasion. 
"Chief of Interrogations [redacted] also ordered the rectal rehydration of KSM without a determination of medical need, a procedure that the chief of interrogations would later characterize as illustrative of the interrogator's 'total control over the detainee.'" Furthermore, "On March 5, 2003, KSM was also subjected to additional rectal rehydration," which [redacted] described as helping to "clear a person's head" and effective in getting KSM to talk.
The CIA, for its part, does not deny the rectal feedings, but claims it was all above board. " The CIA's June 2013 Response does not address the use of rectal feeding with CIA detainees," the report states, "but defends the use of rectal rehydration as a 'well acknowledged medical technique.'"
Rectal rehydration, is indeed a "well acknowledged medical technique," but it hasn't been widely used for decades. The drip was used as an implement of humiliation, to cause suffering, perhaps even to torture. 
As the authors of Force-Feeding at Guantánamo: Medical, Legal and Ethical Analysis, "The International Red Cross, the World Medical Association, and the United Nations recognize the right of competent prisoners to go on a hunger strike. All three organizations have labeled force-feeding a violation on the ban of cruel, inhumane, and degrading punishment." 
The CIA chose not just to force-feed detainees, which could be cruel enough—agents also pushed nutrients through their nasal cavities with nasogastric tubes—but apparently to augment the aggression with a pointedly humiliating tactic. In light of these new documents, it seems painfully clear that the agency turned to an antiquated medical procedure as an excuse to inflict suffering. 

September 26, 2014

Torture Officers at Police Stations, Nazi Germany? Yes and Nigeria too


The young Nigerian man shown above is growing up during a grim time in his nation’s history: One in which the use of torture is so routine in police work that many stations are keeping informal “torture officers” on staff to handle aggressive interrogations.
A gruesome report from Amnesty International exposes the scope of the problem, showing that both the military and police use torture routinely in interrogations against everyone from suspected militants to supposed thieves — and sometimes, even victims of crimes are subjected to horrific tactics. Amnesty claims to have collected the data over the course of the last ten years, illustrating how sustained the issue is, and the human rights organization is calling for immediate action to stop the torture and murder of Nigerian men, women and children.
Spokespeople for the Nigerian police see the issue differently. Emmanuel Ojukwu, a police spokesman, told the BBC that while torture “may happen,” it’s “appropriately dealt with,” and that anyone wishing to file complaints should contact supervisors at police stations and higher up in regional police authorities, if necessary. His comments fly in the face of the massive amount of evidence collected by Amnesty, which includes testimonials from people of all ages not just about graphic torture, but about how routine and unremarkable the process was — many police stations, for example, had chambers specifically set up for torture, as well as officers tasked to perform it. Victims reported rape, electrocution, water torture, beatings and other abuses at the hands of Nigerian law enforcement.
Amnesty’s press release notes that: “The report also reveals how most of those detained are held incommunicado – denied access to the outside world, including lawyers, families and courts…Torture has become such an integral part of policing in Nigeria that many police stations have an informal ‘Officer in Charge of Torture’ or O/C Torture. They use an alarming array of techniques, including nail or tooth extractions, choking, electric shocks and sexual violence.”
This does not speak well of Nigeria’s law enforcement system — violating human rights is in and of itself a terrible abuse that needs to be rectified, but it also means that police are not properly investigating crimes and that the outcomes of any police investigations, trials and subsequent convictions or acquittals are also suspect. That leads to widespread trust and reliability problems with the entire police force and justice system — even when a department respects the human rights of suspects, the actions of abusive departments cancel out its efforts to solve cases within the boundaries of the law. When a nation’s criminal justice system is compromised, it can increase the risk of corruption as well as larger risks for residents, including an increased risk of violent crime.
Shockingly, torture isn’t even illegal in Nigeria. If it’s not a big issue, as police officials claim, surely a formal ban with clearly-outlined penalties for being involved in torture shouldn’t present a hardship or a concern for police departments. After all, if they’re not torturing anyone, surely a law about it won’t affect them…right? 

November 10, 2013

Abducted Owner of Medical Marijuana Dispensary Lost His Penis in Tortured

This image provided by the Orange County District Attorney's Office shows Kyle Handley, one of four people charged with kidnapping a California marijuana dispensary owner, torturing him with a blowtorch and cutting off his penis during a robbery because they thought he was burying piles of cash in the desert, authorities said Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/ Orange County District Attorney's Office)
This image provided by the Orange County District Attorney's Office shows Kyle Handley, one of four people charged with kidnapping a California marijuana dispensary owner, torturing him with a blowtorch and cutting off his penis during a robbery because they thought he was burying piles of cash in the desert, authorities said Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/ Orange County District Attorney's Office)
 LOS ANGELES: Four people have been charged with abducting the California owner of a medical marijuana dispensary, torturing him and cutting off his penis in an attempt to force him to divulge the location of cash they mistakenly believed he had hidden in the desert.
Two of the suspects, Ryan Anthony Kevorkian, 34, and Naomi Josette Kevorkian, 33, were arrested in the central California town Fresno, on Friday, a day after a third defendant, Hossein Nayeri, 34, was taken into custody in the Czech Republic.
Authorities said Nayeri had initially fled the United States to Iran for several months, and was picked up by the FBI in Prague while trying to make an airline connection to Spain to visit family there.
Kyle Shirakawa Handley, 34, the accused mastermind of the kidnapping scheme, has been in custody since he was arrested last October, not long after the crime occurred, police and prosecutors said in a joint statement.

Each of the four is charged with kidnapping, aggravated mayhem, torture and burglary, with a sentencing enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury. All are being held without bail and face a maximum penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.
The victim was not identified, but was described as the owner of a lucrative dispensary for marijuana, which is legal in California for medical purposes.
He survived the kidnapping and mutilation ordeal but was hospitalized for an extensive period of time. Police said the suspects who abducted him fled with his severed penis so that it could never be reattached.

Details of the case, in which the FBI assisted, were outlined in a statement issued by the Newport Beach Police Department and Orange County District Attorney's Office.
According to their account, the kidnapping plot was hatched after the victim had taken several marijuana growers who were suppliers for his pot dispensary, including Handley, on an expensive weekend trip to Las Vegas.

Handley is later suspected of telling his co-defendants that the victim was extremely wealthy, and they set about devising plans to abduct and rob him.
They went on to carry out weeks of video surveillance of the victim and followed him as he took numerous trips by car to discuss a possible investment deal, incorrectly surmising he was making those desert trips to bury large amounts of cash there, authorities said.
The plot came to a head on Oct. 2, 2012, when the three male suspects allegedly slipped into the victim's home, kidnapped him and the girlfriend of a roommate who happened to be there, then drove them both to the desert. They also are accused of stealing cash from the victim's home.
According to police, the three suspects repeatedly tortured the dispensary owner during his ordeal by burning him with a blowtorch, before finally cutting off his penis.
They then poured bleach over the victim in an effort to destroy any DNA evidence before dumping both captives on the side of a road and fled. Naomi Kevorkian was not present during the kidnapping but was charged because she participated in the plan to abduct and torture the victim, according to the statement.

The woman abducted with the dispensary owner was unharmed and managed to flag down a police car after running for a mile in the dark.
The Kevorkians are expected to be arraigned on Tuesday. Nayeri faces extradition proceedings in Prague. Handley is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Nov. 15. 

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