Monday, May 14, 2007

Torture -The Guantanamo Guidebook

UK's channel 4 "Guantanamo Handbook" documentary

Suffice it to say, the video footage will be very disturbing. Definitely for mature audiences. That said, the video is one that must be watched, as it gives the viewer some idea of what life is like for those held captive in the Guantánamo Bay gulag. The prisoners here were volunteers, and their time in captivity was relatively brief (48 hours). Of the seven volunteers, four remained at the end. One was released after showing early symptoms of hypothermia. Two others simply broke down before the 40 hour mark. The impression I got was that these volunteers began experiencing hallucinations due to the conditions (as should be noted, conditions which were mild relative to what Guantánamo Bay prisoners are subjected to). The methods used to "interrogate" are ones that have been sanctioned by the US government, and the narrator points out ones that have been deemed torture, as well as ones that would violate the Geneva Conventions.

Since psychologists have been involved in the procedures used at Guantánamo, it is imperative that any of us in psychology and related fields not only re-examine our role in perpetrating gross human rights violations, but our affiliations with professional organizations that continue to permit the involvement of their members in such violations (the American Psychological Association comes most readily to mind).

Hat tip to Stephen Soldz at Never In Our Names.

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