Health Professionals Against Torture

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Guantanamo and Torture event at UC Berkeley (live streaming online)

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Health Professionals Against Torture and Amnesty International USA would like to invite you to attend an exceptional panel discussion on Torture and Guantánamo Bay.  In recognition of the two years that have passed since the Presidential Order to close Guantánamo, the goal of this event is to bring attention to the human rights violations that have occurred at Guantánamo Bay and to discuss its intended closure.

(Exciting news, because of many requests from our supporters the event will also be a live webcast at www.livestream.com/amnestywest Please spread the word that now anyone can view the event live online! We will also film the event and put it on YouTube.)

This expert speakers’ panel will feature Omar Deghayes, a former Guantánamo detainee who has never been charged or convicted by any authority, who will participate via video conference from Brighton, England; Attorney Candace Gorman, whose Civil and Constitutional Rights work has included representing two Guantánamo detainees; and Professor Almerindo Ojeda from the UC Davis Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas
http://humanrights.ucdavis.edu, which hosts the Guantánamo Testimonials Project. There will be a short Q&A session after the panel discussion. Please see links to articles below about Omar Deghayes and Candace Gorman.

The event will be held at the University of California Berkeley on Wednesday, January 26th from 7:30pm – 9:00pm at 2050 Valley Life Sciences Building.

The event is co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center, Health Professionals Against Torture, Survivors International, United Nations Association USA East Bay Chapter, Boalt Hall International Human Rights Clinic, Boalt Hall Committee for Human Rights, Amnesty International UC Berkeley Student Chapter and the Boalt Alliance Against Torture. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about the event please contact William Butkus, Amnesty International Field Organizer wbutkus@aiusa.org or 415-288-1800.


How I fought to survive Guantánamo –  Omar Deghayes

Why I am Representing a “Detainee” at Guantanamo – Candace Gorman

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January 26th, 2011 at 4:06 am

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City of Berkeley Issues Proclamation

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The United Nations proclaims the 26th of June each year as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. We are privileged to bring this to your attention, thanks to the Proclamation issued [June 25th] by the City of Berkeley, California.



June 26 is the day on which the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into force in 1987; and


the Government of the United States ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 1994, making the Convention part of U.S. law; and,


At that time, there were no treatment centers or services to treat torture survivors, while today there are some 200 centers or programs all over the world, with several of them in the Bay area staffed by citizens of Berkeley where they offer profound knowledge of torture methods, theeffects of torture, and how to diagnose and rehabilitate torture victims; and


the United Nations has proclaimed June 26 the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture; and


the United Nations appeals to all Governments and members of civil society to take action, every year, at the international, regional, national, provincial, community, village, professional, family and individual level, to defeat torture and torturers everywhere;

Now therefore, be it resolved that I, Tom Bates, Mayor of the City of Berkeley, do hereby proclaim June 26, 2010, as

United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

Tom Bates, Mayor, June 26, 2010

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June 30th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

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Event Notice (Jerusalem): Panel Discussion and Screening of the Film “Hunger”

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Panel Discussion and Screening of the Film “Hunger” on the Occassion of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

Sunday June 27, 7pm – in the Jerusalem Cinematique (Hebron Road 11, Jerusalem)


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June 16th, 2010 at 3:56 pm

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Event notice (San Francisco): Screening of “The Response” with Speakers Jess Ghannam and Kathy Roberts

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  • Date: Wednesday, June 23, 2010
  • Time: 6:00PM -8:00PM
  • Location: Amnesty International, 350 Sansome St, #210, San Francisco, CA


The International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (June 26), enacted by the United Nations, is a day to observe what is being done and what still needs to be done to help survivors rebuild their lives and to end torture. Join Survivors International (http://www.survivorsintl.org), Amnesty International (http://www.amnesty.org), Health Professionals Against Torture (http://www.hpatcoalition.org), and the Center for Justice & Accountability (http://cja.org) for a film screening! Refreshments will be provided!

The Response is a courtroom drama based on the actual transcripts of the Guantanamo Bay military tribunals. Read more about the film here: http://www.theresponsemovie.com

We are also pleased to welcome Dr. Jess Ghannam and Attorney Kathy Roberts as our speakers.

Dr. Jess Ghannam is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Global Health Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco and is also Adjunct Professor of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University. Additionally, he has been working with the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center on a project evaluating the post-release health effects of detention in Guantanamo.

Kathy Roberts is a staff attorney at the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) in San Francisco, where she investigates and litigates impact cases on behalf of survivors of torture and other severe human rights abuses. Her recent work includes investigating the role of health professionals, and specifically of psychologists, in the torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody, and collaboration on the website “Do No Harm? Intelligence Ethics, Health Professionals, and the Torture Debate” (http://www.law.berkeley.edu/8307.htm), recently launched by the University of California Berkeley International Human Rights Clinic.


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June 16th, 2010 at 3:45 pm

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