UN and Protesters Seek End to Torture at the JRC
The UN's special rapporteur on torture has asked the United States to investigate the Judge Rotenberg Center, and protesters are calling for the Massachusetts legislature to ban the use of electrical shocks on patients there.
The rapporteur plans to contact the US state department and has the option of reporting the matter to the UN human rights council.
Mendez said he was "very concerned" about the use of electric shocks, which are inflicted on autistic children through pads applied to their skin.
"The use of electricity on anyone's body raises the question of whether this is therapeutic or whether it inflicts pain and suffering tantamount to torture in violation of international law," he added.
About 70 people rallied yesterday at the Massachusetts State House:
“The effort to ban this practice has been going on for decades,” said state Senator Brian A. Joyce, a leading advocate for the ban in the Legislature, in an interview during the rally. “I’ve learned to temper my optimism with the reality that there are well-paid lawyers, lobbyists, and PR people defending the school. But I’m more hopeful than ever before that this will pass” because of support from Governor Patrick, the success of the new regulations, and the recent circulation of a video showing a student getting shocked.
Cheryl McCollins of Brooklyn told the crowd about her son’s experience with the shock treatment, which was caught on video.
“There’s video of my son being tortured,” McCollins said. “It’s mind-boggling. We’re trying to stop something that never should have started.”