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2004 Declaration - Declaration of the Island of Kos

The participants of the Panhellenic Congress of Psychiatry meeting on 14th to 18th May 2004 on the Hippocratic Island of Kos,

In the company of leaders of the World Psychiatric Association, of the American Psychiatric Association, and of over twenty other national psychiatric societies from Eastern Europe, the Balkans and beyond,

Upon receiving a report presented by the president and the secretary general of the Iraqi Society of Psychiatrists expanding on international media reports,

And in line with our professional and ethical responsibilities to protect and promote mental health across the world,

  1. Express concern about the recently documented abuse of detainees at Iraqi prisons, involving deeply humiliating and culturally degrading interrogation and mistreatment practices. There is well established evidence of the long standing harm of such practices to the mental health of victims and perpetrators and their families and communities;

  2. Also express concern about the amply documented loss of life and threat to general and mental health of the Iraqi population;

  3. Express solidarity with our colleagues of the Iraqi Society of Psychiatrists who have reported the deeply disturbing conditions of insecurity and deprivation of professional means, including basic medicines, currently prevalent in Iraq, which are impeding their minimally meeting professional obligations with the population at large;

  4. Call on all governments involved to act urgently to stop the degrading practices at the Iraqi prisons, and the World Health Organization, World Psychiatric Association Member Societies, and other pertinent mental health organizations to assist our Iraqi colleagues with the basic professional means they require for the fullfilment of their fundamental responsibilities.

Given on the Island of Kos, Greece, on 18th May 2004

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