Psychologists and Prisoner Interrogations

Norman Abeles

in The Oxford Handbook of International Psychological Ethics

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199739165
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Psychologists and Prisoner Interrogations

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Recent estimates suggest that there have been over 300 articles on the topic of detainee interrogations in the last few years. There has been a marked increase in detainee interrogations in the military system accompanied by allegations of abuse and torture of international prisoners and statements that psychologists were directly or indirectly involved. The American Psychological Association authorized a task force to look at the topic of harsh interrogations, with particular focus on ethical concerns. Part of the report of this task force concluded that psychologists must not engage in behaviors that violate the laws of the United States, and may refuse for ethical reasons to follow laws or orders that are unjust or that violate basic principles of human rights. Further, the report stated that psychologists have an ethical responsibility to report acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment to the appropriate authorities.

Keywords: detainee interrogations; principles of human rights; ethics; Guantanamo Bay

Article.  4437 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology

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