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Guantanamo Prison Remains Open Over A Year After Obama Vowed To Close It

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The city of Philadelphia took action to release an official apology for the city’s involvement in the Holmesburg Prison experiments.

The Holmesburg Prison experiments were performed throughout the 1950s to the 1970s. The mastermind behind the experiments were former University of Pennsylvania researcher Dr. Albert Kligman. The now-disgraced researcher dealt his experiments on mostly on black men who were awaiting trial and trying to save money for bail, and many of whom were illiterate. Kligman would use them to test dermatological, biochemical and pharmaceutical concoctions that intentionally exposed about 300 inmates to viruses, fungus, asbestos and chemical agents including dioxin. Dioxin is also a component of Agent Orange, yes the stuff the U.S. used during the Vietnam War.

The apology is coming after community activists and families of some of those inmates raised the need for a formal apology. Many of the former inmates developed lifelong scars and health issues from the experiments. In 2000, a group of inmates filed a lawsuit against UPenn and Kligman. The case was ultimately thrown out because of a statute of limitations. Kligman died in 2010 and he never received the justice coming to him in life. It wasn’t until last year the university decided to remove any reference to him within the school’s walls.

Mayor Kenney acknowledges the trauma in the public statement.

Without excuse, we formally and officially extend a sincere apology to those who were subjected to this inhumane and horrific abuse. We are also sorry it took far too long to hear these words.


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