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Friday, Sep 04th

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Psychologists vote not to participate in US torture

APA votes against tortureThe American Psychological Association (APA) voted overwhelmingly on Friday to prohibit members from participating in interrogations conducted by United States intelligence agencies at locations deemed illegal under international law.

The decision follows a scathing independent report that found APA members were complicit in torturing detainees at the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay and secret CIA “black sites.”

Released in July, the report detailed specific instances in which psychologists directed and advised U.S. interrogators on how to instill fear and distress in detainees. APA voted at an association meeting in Toronto on Friday that participating in such activities violates the profession’s ethical code.

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Report: US-led strikes in Iraq, Syria killed 459 civilians

Civilan casualties of US attacksU.S.-led airstrikes targeting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria have likely killed at least 459 civilians over the past year, a report by an independent monitoring group said Monday. The coalition had no immediate comment.

The report by Airwars, a project aimed at tracking the international airstrikes targeting the extremists, said it believed 57 specific strikes killed civilians and caused 48 suspected "friendly fire" deaths. It said the strikes have killed more than 15,000 Islamic State militants.

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Anti-torture reforms opposed within psychology group after damning report

Anti-torture reforms opposedOpposition is building to intended anti-torture reforms within the largest professional organization of psychologists in the US, which faces a crossroads over what a recent report described as its past support for brutal military and CIA interrogations.

Before the American Psychological Association (APA) meets in Toronto next Thursday for what all expect will be a fraught convention that reckons with an independent review that last month found the APA complicit in torture, former military voices within the profession are urging the organization not to participate in what they describe as a witch hunt.

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‘Rubber stamp for endless detention’: Judge rejects Gitmo detainee’s legal challenge

GitmoA federal judge has rejected a legal challenge from a Guantanamo Bay inmate who said his continued imprisonment was unlawful since President Barack Obama had declared an end to the war in Afghanistan. The detainee has been held for 13 years.

The challenge brought by lawyers for detainee Muktar Yahya Najee al-Warafi said the Obama administration’s statement that the war in Afghanistan had come to an end made their client’s detention unlawful under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force of 2001. The authorization provides legal justification for imprisoning foreign fighters captured overseas.

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Israel authorizes force-feeding of prisoners

Israel forcefeeds prisonersIsrael's parliament has passed into law the ability to force-feed prisoners on hunger strike, a move that had met vehement opposition from the country's medical association.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rightist coalition weathered a lengthy parliamentary debate on Thursday, with 46 politicians in favour and 40 opposed in the 120-seat Knesset.

Israel says it is concerned that hunger strikes by Palestinians in its jails could end in death and trigger waves of protests in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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Amnesty Says Israel Response to Soldier's Gaza Capture Was War Crime

Israel war crimes in GazaThe response of Israel’s military to the capture of an Israeli soldier during last summer’s Gaza conflict amounts to war crimes and crimes against humanity, Amnesty International said in a new report.

Following the capture into a terror tunnel of Lt. Hadar Goldin, who later was declared dead based on evidence at the scene of his capture, the IDF bombarded the southern Gaza city of Rahat for four days, killing at least 135 people, injuring hundreds and destroying homes.

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Judge: US should not detain immigrant kids

Judge: No detention for childrenA federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Department of Justice's current system of detaining children with their mothers after they've crossed the U.S.-Mexico border violates an 18-year-old court settlement.

The decision Friday by U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in California is a victory for the immigrant rights lawyers who brought the case, but its immediate implications for detainees were not yet clear. The ruling upholds a tentative decision Gee made in April, and comes a week after the two sides told her that they failed to reach a new settlement agreement as she'd asked for.

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