Monday, December 12, 2005

Psychologists and torture: War on Terror?

I was recently contacted by colleague and friend Brinton M. Lykes from the The Ignacio Martin-Baró Fund for Mental Health and Human Rights. She drew my attention to the fact that there is an increasing national concern in the US over the growing evidence that psychologists and other mental health workers have been directly involved in interrogations, and in some cases torture, of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and elsewhere. In response a campaign has been launched against this.

She wrote: "In response to these realities of deep concern to many of us as psychologists and as US citizens, the Fund has launched a two-pronged petition campaign calling on both Congress and the American Psychological Association to commission independent investigations of this situation, and to take concrete action to put an end to these practices...We are seeking support not only from those who are professionally involved in mental health issues, but from everyone who is concerned about these issues. You need not be a psychologist or a member of the American Psychological Association to sign the APA petition, although if you are a member -- and want to let the APA know -- you can include this information in the "Affiliations" field of the response form.".

Both petitions are available from the Fund's home page: www.martinbarofund.org and from the petitions to the signature page.