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The PA Network Against Torture -  PANAT -  is a network of individuals, faith groups and civic organizations committed to:

  • Ending U.S. sponsored torture in Guantanamo, Bagram, and other US bases in other countries
  • Ending U.S. participation in the practice of extraordinary rendition
  • Advocating for a Commission of Inquiry on U. S. involvement in torture
  • Public education about psychological and physical torture in our prisons, including solitary confinement
  • Advocacy and supportive care for survivors of torture

"With little concern or demurral, we have consigned tens of thousands of our own citizens to conditions that horrified our highest court a century ago. Our willingness to discard these standards for American prisoners made it easy to discard the Geneva Conventions prohibiting similar treatment of foreign prisoners of war, to the detriment of America’s moral stature in the world."

 Dr. Atul Gawande

The first PA Conference Against Torture 2011

The first conference took place September 28th and 29th 2011 in Harrisburg with 44 people attending from around the state.

 Kate Porterfield gave the keynote presentation on September 28th on a “Phobia of Hope: Reflections from a Psychologist in Guantanamo.” Kate is a clinical psychologist at the Bellevue/NYC Program for Survivors of Torture and one of a handful of mental health and medical professionals who have been approved to go to Guantanamo Detention Center to conduct independent evaluations of detainees held there. Kate talked about her work with two men who were incarcerated at Guantanamo, Omar Khadr and Mohammed Jawad. They were both minors when they were sent to Guantanamo. She compared her experiences in working with these two to her work with refugees and immigrants who have come to the US fleeing torture and abuse in their home countries.

 September 29th presentations:

Kate Porterfield presented a power point presentation on the impact of torture and abuse and features of successful training programs for professional and volunteer caregivers of survivors. Click here to view her presentation.

King Downing, American Friends Service Committee Program Analyst for Healing Justice, led a vigorous brain storming session on actions that can be taken to address issues of prison reform and especially prolonged isolation and its impact. View suggestions from the discussion.

John Humphries, from the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), gave a presentation on the work of faith groups, especially NRCAT. Various ideas for action were discussed including taking part in the January 11th DC National Day of Action Against Guantanamo and addressing the issue of accountability. See John’s report.

On-going actions will be drafting legislation to restrict prolonged isolation in our state prisons. A working group has been established to work on this issue.