(Video) Iran: Conferences in US and Europe Urge Raisi’s Prosecution as He Addresses UN

September 21, 2021 - •	Call on the international community to recognize the massacre of 1988 as genocide and a crime against humanity, refer this case to the UN Security Council, and hold Khamenei and Raisi and other perpetrators of this massacre accounta

Call on the international community to recognize the massacre of 1988 as genocide and a crime against humanity, refer this case to the UN Security Council, and hold Khamenei and Raisi and other perpetrators of this massacre accountable.

September 21, 2021 - Mrs. Rajavi underscored: Neither the squad of cannibals, nor the escalation of repression and incitement to war, nor the mad dash to develop a nuclear weapon will save this regime and prevent its overthrow.

Mrs. Rajavi underscored: Neither the squad of cannibals, nor the escalation of repression and incitement to war, nor the mad dash to develop a nuclear weapon will save this regime and prevent its overthrow.

September 23, 2021 - Pompeo referred to the 1988 massacre and said, “Ebrahim Raisi, himself, is personally responsible for the mass execution of thousands of Iranian political prisoners, names of over 5,000 have been published.

Pompeo referred to the 1988 massacre and said, “Ebrahim Raisi, himself, is personally responsible for the mass execution of thousands of Iranian political prisoners, names of over 5,000 have been published.

September 23, 2021 - Remarks by Michael R. Pompeo, former Secretary of State Addressing the Washington, DC Conference Support a Free Iran; Call on the U.S. to Hold Ebrahim Raisi Accountable for the 1988 Massacre.

Remarks by Michael R. Pompeo, former Secretary of State Addressing the Washington, DC Conference Support a Free Iran; Call on the U.S. to Hold Ebrahim Raisi Accountable for the 1988 Massacre.

September 21, 2021 - •	We witnessed Ebrahim Raisi hanging thousands of prisoners. We saw trucks carrying the bodies of the victims at night. It is a disgrace to contemporary humanity for Raisi to address the UN General Assembly.

We witnessed Ebrahim Raisi hanging thousands of prisoners. We saw trucks carrying the bodies of the victims at night. It is a disgrace to contemporary humanity for Raisi to address the UN General Assembly.

September 22, 2021 - In New York, Iranians held a rally, simultaneously with Raisi’s speech, in Dag Hammarskjöld Square, near the entrance of the U.N. The protesters urged the international community to refer the regime’s dossier of human rights abuses to

In New York, Iranians held a rally, simultaneously with Raisi’s speech, in Dag Hammarskjöld Square, near the entrance of the U.N. The protesters urged the international community to refer the regime’s dossier of human rights abuses to the U.N. Security Co

September 22, 2021 - In New York, Iranians held a rally, protests were held simultaneously with the speech of the regime’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, at the United Nations General Assembly.

In New York, Iranians held a rally, protests were held simultaneously with the speech of the regime’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, at the United Nations General Assembly.

September 22, 2021 - In Stockholm, Iranians held a large rally followed by an international conference. It is worth noting that Hamid Nouri, who had participated in the 1988 massacre, is on trial. The conference in Sweden was attended by several prominent

In Stockholm, Iranians held a large rally followed by an international conference. It is worth noting that Hamid Nouri, who had participated in the 1988 massacre, is on trial. The conference in Sweden was attended by several prominent European politicians

Pompeo: I think this is why Iran will never return to rule by a dictatorial Shah or theocratic regime.

'The international community must adopt a firm policy on Iran – something that meets the desire of the Iranian people and is vital to regional and global peace and tranquility,' said Mrs. Rajavi”

— NCRI

PARIS, FRANCE, September 23, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — On Tuesday, the Iranian regime’s President Ebrahim Raisi address the annual gathering of the United Nations General Assembly with a pre-recorded speech in which he overlooked the issue of nuclear proliferation and blamed the United States for Iran’s immediate problems. Referring to economic sanctions as a new means of warfare, Raisi accused the US Treasury Department of preventing the import of medicines during the coronavirus pandemic, then cited recent developments like the fraught withdrawal from Afghanistan as signs of American decline and failure.

These talking points were rejected on the day of the speech not just by US officials but also by Iranian expatriates and ethnic Iranians throughout the world. The evening before Raisi’s speech, the Organization of Iranian-American Communities held a conference in Washington, D.C. which condemned the Iranian president’s participation in the General Assembly and highlighted his past involvement in human rights abuses and crimes against humanity.

A similar event was held in Stockholm, Sweden on Tuesday to underscore the organizers’ appeals for Raisi to face accountability for his key role in the massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners in 1988.

Tehran’s conscious disregard of the 1988 massacre has been reaffirmed on many occasions over the past 33 years, with Raisi’s appointment to the presidency being among the clearest examples. In the run-up to his June 2021 “election,” Raisi was widely condemned by Iranian activists as the “henchman of 1988” – a label that was repeated by former Iranian political prisoners in this week’s conferences. At the time of the massacre, Raisi was one of four officials to serve on the Tehran “death commission,” a body that interrogated prisoners and ordered executions in Evin and Gohardasht Prisons and thus set the stage for similar proceedings in detention facilities throughout the country.

Nasrollah Marandi, speaking on behalf of an entire delegation of former political prisoners at the Stockholm conference, reported that they had witnessed the execution of thousands of their friends and colleagues in the two facilities where Raisi had his initial jurisdiction. “Many of our friends witnessed the execution of many (PMOI/MEK) members by Raisi in Hamedan and Karaj,” he added, referring to the Mojahedin-e Khalq, or People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), which was the leading voice of opposition to the theocratic regime and thus became the main focus of the 1988 massacre.

The massacre reportedly claimed about 30,000 victims over the course of three months, with 90 percent of them being affiliated with the (PMOI/MEK). Ebrahim Raisi is considered uniquely responsible for this pace of executions, and his presence in Hamedan and Karaj, as well as in Tehran, is evidence of this.

Once the systematic executions were well underway in Evin Prison, Khomeini personally expanded Raisi’s jurisdiction as a reward for the initial enthusiasm he had demonstrated in implementing Khomeini’s fatwa ordering the mass execution of the (PMOI/MEK)’s members and defenders. In a letter, the regime’s founder and first supreme leader empowered Raisi to correct for the “weakness of the judiciary” by facilitating “God’s command” in several cities where the (PMOI/MEK) was believed to be highly active.

“Khomeini sought to eradicate the [(PMOI/MEK)] quickly,” said Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, in a speech delivered remotely to the Stockholm gathering. “He wanted to carry out the horrendous massacre in total silence. The plan for the killings in Tehran and dozens of other cities was designed such that no one would know about it.” But Mrs. Rajavi went on to credit MEK-affiliated activists with continuing to collect evidence of the massacre, for the sake of raising its international profile and helping to set the stage for international prosecution of leading perpetrators, including Raisi.

The event in Washington was effectively headlined by Mike Pompeo, who served as Secretary of State in the Trump administration.

Pompeo referred to the 1988 massacre and said, “Ebrahim Raisi, himself, is personally responsible for the mass execution of thousands of Iranian political prisoners, names of over 5,000 have been published. The bodies of these brave men and women were dumped in unmarked graves. And Because Iran has never, and likely under this regime will never allow an investigation into these killings, we do not know the true number of Iranians who were murdered. But it is almost certainly more than the 5,000 lists of names that we have.”

He also said, “You know this character Ebrahim Raisi is exactly who Khamenei wants as President – someone who will do his bidding. Someone willing to brutalize and slaughter the Iranian people at his command. This is not moving forward. It is moving backward. It is only those who are resisting, both inside and out, who provide hope for Iran. That is why this gathering and the work you do today is so important.”

Pompeo also said, “The actions in 1979 were of course a key turning point. To understand Iran and its rightful place in history we must unpack what happened in 1979. I think this is why Iran will never return to rule by a dictatorial Shah or theocratic regime. This fight is the real fight and it began in those frightful first moments of the so-called revolution in 1979.”

Concerning the path forward, Pompeo said, “The United States must lead the world, starting today, on this occasion, to hold him accountable for crimes against humanity that he committed Any dealings with Raisi, would be tantamount to dealing with a mass murderer. This is not only immoral but counterproductive. All of us should make this crystal clear to our allies in Europe and Asia as well and hold them accountable if they deal with this man that sent thousands of his country to execution in 1988.”

The content of Raisi’s speech presumably reflects a strategy of quietly escalating tensions with the Western adversaries while simultaneously urging those adversaries to continue reaching out diplomatically. But participants in the Washington and Stockholm conferences warned American and European policymakers that such outreach would only embolden the Raisi administration’s escalations, with consequences for international security as well as for the Iranian people.

“The international community must adopt a firm policy on Iran – something that meets the desire of the Iranian people and is vital to regional and global peace and tranquility,” said Mrs. Rajavi on Monday, before adding that the full range of Tehran’s malign activities should be seen as branches of the same overarching strategy.

Based upon that view, Mrs. Rajavi went on to suggest that the first step toward undermining Tehran’s aggressive strategy could be holding its leaders accountable for human rights abuses and crimes against humanity. She said: “We urge the United States, the European Union, and its member states to refer the dossier of human rights violations in Iran to the UN Security Council. Such a measure will enable the UN to arrange for the international prosecution of [Supreme Leader] Khamenei, [President] Raisi, and other regime leaders for committing four decades of crimes against humanity and genocide.”

The reference to genocide reflects an assessment offered by multiple legal scholars in prior conferences on the 1988 massacre. They highlighted passages from Khomeini’s fatwa as support for the conclusion that (PMOI/MEK) members and other victims were targeted on the basis of their belief in a moderate, apolitical brand of Islam that is inherently at odds with the mullah’s fundamentalism. Of Raisi’s role in implementing that order, Pompeo noted that he “wasn’t an advisor or a foot soldier; he was an executioner.” The former US Secretary of State also stated, therefore: “Raisi should be prosecuted, not tomorrow, not next week, not next year. We should prosecute him now.”

Shahin Gobadi
NCRI
+ +33 6 51 65 32 31
email us here

70th U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo- U.S. Iran Policy, Accountability For Rights Abuses,9/20


Source: EIN Presswire

AMGSPORT Brings New Sponsor to NASCAR

Parler No. 17 Xfinty Car

AMGsport designed the Parler No. 17 Car for this weekends NASCAR Xfinity race.

AMGsport, a division of America Media Group, is located in Ybor City in downtown Tampa, FL.

Parler to Sponsor JJ Yeley at Las Vegas

One of the most important aspects in aligning companies with sports and talent is the ability to convey an authentic message and reflect the values of the sponsor.”

— Charles Broadhurst

TAMPA, FL-FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, September 23, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — American Media Group’s sports marketing division, AMGsport, announced that Parler, a self-described free speech social media platform, will sponsor NASCAR Xfinity Series driver JJ Yeley’s No. 17 car during the Alsco Uniforms 302 race September 25th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The underdog social media company has become prominent in the wake of changes in big tech policy influenced by various special-interest groups. The World's Town Square, as Parler is known, is built upon a foundation of respect for privacy and personal data, free speech, free markets, and ethical, transparent corporate policy.

Charles Broadhurst, President of American Media Group who put the deal together, said, “NASCAR and the Xfinity series are a great fit for the Parler brand. The Xfinity series is 'the place where names are made' and that mirrors Parler in so many ways. NASCAR has always been an authentic brand and with the growth and diversity we are seeing now, Parler is a perfect social media outlet for fans and drivers to utilize to get their message out.

“One of the most important aspects in aligning companies with sports and talent is the ability to convey an authentic message and reflect the values of the sponsor. In this case we felt strongly that NASCAR and JJ Yeley reflect the values of millions of Parler users and free speech advocates.

“I don’t think it's a risky decision to align with a company like Parler, especially in the wake of last month's congressional hearings that found no wrongdoing in connection with the unfortunate events of January 6th. In fact, I hope that it demonstrates our willingness to stand by our clients and do the right thing and we invite other similar organizations to stand up and let their voices be heard and hopefully we will be the ones to help them do it.”

NASCAR driver JJ Yeley had this to say about his newest partner, “I’m really looking forward to growing the relationship with Parler; the Parler team has been very supportive and it’s always a benefit when you have companies like AMG and SS GreenLight involved throughout the process. I think Parler echoes the sentiment of a lot of NASCAR fans and myself, that free speech and the ability to have open conversation on or offline without fear of being attacked is an important part of this country.”

About American Media Group (AMG) – Located in Tampa, our growing firm delivers turnkey Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations solutions for well-known global brands and SMBs across a wide spectrum of verticals. AMG staff have decades of experience delivering for clients and ensuring each brand or business is matched with an advertising partner who will deliver on their word. Find them at https://amgsport.com/

Charles Broadhurst
+1 813-492-7060
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American Media Group
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Source: EIN Presswire

FI Consulting's PIM Offers Subrecipient Reporting and Tracking For Grants and Loans

Subrecipient Reporting Provides Government Grant and Lending Program Managers Increased Visibility into the ROI of Their Assistance Programs

The recent expansion of assistance programs requiring rapid distribution of funds through multiple levels of recipients has highlighted the need for greater tracking, management, and review.”

— Rob Silverman

ARLINGTON, VA, UNITED STATES, September 23, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — FI Consulting today announced a new release of its proprietary Program Investment Manager (PIM) software for government grant, loan, and guarantee programs, now including support for integrated subrecipient tracking and management.

Program Investment Manager (PIM) is the first modular suite of FedRAMP-compliant applications that help federal agencies manage grant, loan, guarantee, and other subsidy programs from application through closeout. PIM includes modules for origination and application processing, integrated portfolio management, program performance management, oversight and compliance, and closeout. of modules that can be implemented individually to enhance specific functions or as an integrated suite to support end-to-end program management.

With Program Investment Manager 2.0, agencies, recipients, and subrecipients can now use PIM to:
– Track and manage recipient and subrecipient distributions through multiple distribution levels, funding types, and spend categories.
– Collect and analyze recipient and subrecipient performance data.
– Manage compliance reviews including at the subrecipient level.

Recipients and subrecipients can use PIM’s FedRAMP compliant, secure portal to:
– Avoid inefficient and time-intensive manual reporting processes.
– Directly update funding and performance information via a flexible, easy-to-use interface.
– Upload required reports, documents, and other artifacts.

Some additional features of PIM’s subrecipient reporting module include:
– Secure, role-based access, enabling agencies to import permissions from existing systems and data sources, or create and manage access directly through PIM.
– Configurable logic that enables PIM to record reported expenses against multiple awards and spend categories for a single recipient based on agency accounting or policy preferences.
– Monitoring of submissions with visualization of subrecipient compliance with reporting obligations.

“The recent expansion of assistance programs requiring rapid distribution of funds through multiple levels of recipients has highlighted the need for greater tracking, management, and review of where assistance money goes and what it is ultimately used for,” said Rob Silverman, FI Consulting’s Managing Director for Platform Solutions. “Our latest release of PIM leverages the power of automation, secure portal technology, flexible low-code configuration, and advanced analytics to provide government agencies, constituents, and other stakeholders greater visibility and assurance regarding these critical but complex loan, guarantee, and grant assistance programs.”

More information about FI Consulting’s Program Investment Manager (PIM) can be found at: https://www.ficonsulting.com/how-we-help/solution-areas/pim/

About FI Consulting
FI Consulting (FI) delivers solutions that help government agencies and commercial financial institutions gain better information, make insightful and substantiated decisions, manage risk, and improve performance. FI’s approach applies data, analytics, modeling, and technology through agile, customer-centric principles that recognize the complexities of our clients’ businesses as well as leading practices. Learn more at www.ficonsulting.com.

Victor Zulkoski
FI Consulting, Inc.
+1 571-255-6776
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Source: EIN Presswire

Gupshup acquires leading RCS platform, Dotgo

Gupshup acquires Dotgo

Gupshup acquires Dotgo

Acquisition propels Gupshup into global leadership in RCS solidifying its IP-based conversational messaging platform and accelerating growth in Africa

With the addition of RCS, Gupshup will undoubtedly be the strongest IP messaging company, and thus helps us accelerate our mission”

— Dr. Inderpal Singh Mumick, co-founder and CEO of Dotgo

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA, September 23, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Gupshup, the leader in conversational messaging, today announced that it has acquired New Jersey based Dotgo. Dotgo is the global industry leader in RCS business messaging (RBM), with award-winning technologies such as the RichOTP®, RichSMS™, Bot Store®, and Dotgo MaaP (Messaging as a Platform) that foster the growth of RCS Business Messaging. A strong partner of Google, Mavenir, Synchronoss, Vodafone, and Orange, Dotgo manages RBM in several markets, and operates the world’s largest RBM Hub with global connectivity to RCS users across the world. Dotgo is uniquely positioned to help brands integrate, with simple APIs, the RCS channel into their customer communications, whether for sales, support, services, or other business processes.

Dotgo, powered by a founding team with a rich history of tech innovation, is a Cohort 6 graduate of the IIT Startups accelerator. Dotgo grew rapidly in 2021 as RCS gained traction in North America, Europe, India, Brazil, and Nigeria. Dotgo’s MaaP, offered in partnership with, and pre-integrated with, Google Jibe platform, has been selected to operate RCS business messaging at several mobile network operators. Dotgo has been a leading contributor at the Mobile Ecosystem Forum and GSMA in defining standards and processes for RCS Business Messaging.

Dotgo will significantly strengthen Gupshup’s conversational messaging platform that enables businesses and developers to build rich customer experiences. Gupshup also plans to leverage Dotgo’s strong experience and presence in Africa to expand there.

“Conversational experiences are becoming the key to business-customer interactions, and the RCS messaging channel is a critical enabler,” said Beerud Sheth, co-founder and CEO, Gupshup. “Dotgo’s product innovation, market traction and thought leadership in the RCS ecosystem is truly impressive. Together, we’ll be able to offer a broader range of conversational messaging solutions to businesses and developers. We are excited to welcome them to the Gupshup family.”

Dr. Inderpal Singh Mumick, co-founder and CEO of Dotgo said “RCS business messaging is destined to change the way businesses communicate with their customers. We started Dotgo to create APIs that make it easy for brands and other players in the ecosystem to adopt RCS, while taking care of and hiding all the backend complexity from our customers. With the addition of RCS, Gupshup will undoubtedly be the strongest IP messaging company, and thus helps us accelerate our mission.”

Johanna Kollar, Partnerships Lead, Communication Products, Google said “We congratulate Dotgo and Gupshup on this acquisition. We have worked closely with Dotgo and are very impressed by the quality of their products and services. We look forward to growing our relationship as the Dotgo team becomes a part of Gupshup.”

“The Dotgo team members were visionaries in recognizing the potential of RCS at a time when it had little adoption. We congratulate them on building industry leading products that are being adopted by customers across the world, just as RCS is taking off. Their bet proved prescient and combining with an exceptional company like Gupshup will create a far stronger value proposition in the market”, said Naren Gupta, Managing Director, Nexus Venture Partners.

RCS will be a key messaging channel in Gupshup’s Conversational Messaging Platform, supplementing 30 other messaging channels available to customers via Gupshup’s Single API for messaging. RCS, a part of the 5G standard, is the next generation of SMS that includes pictures, audio, video, and presence, combined with enhanced security and encryption. RCS messages are delivered to native messaging apps such as Google Messages and Samsung Messages on Android phones. RCS Business Messaging uses the rich and interactive features of RCS to enable branded and secure business messaging. RCS is available globally with over 600M monthly active users, including about 20% of India’s smartphone users.

About Dotgo

Dotgo®, a global leader in RCS, is building the APIs and cloud platforms needed in a world where every business must have a presence inside messaging apps, just as they have web sites and smartphone apps. Dotgo’s APIs and services enable brands and developers to build conversational experiences that transform customer interactions, and help mobile operators to launch, manage, and monetize RCS business messaging. Dotgo is the provider of the Dotgo Bot Store®, world’s first and largest directory of RCS and WhatsApp bots, Dotgo MaaP, RichOTP®, RichSMS™, and the RBM Hub. Dotgo is a Google partner, a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider, and a member of the Mobile Ecosystem Forum. For more information, visit www.dotgo.com. Bot Store, Dotgo, and RichOTP are registered trademarks of Dotgo Systems Inc. in USA and other jurisdictions.

About Gupshup

Gupshup enables better customer engagement through conversational messaging. Gupshup is the leading conversational messaging platform, powering over 6 billion messages per month. Across verticals, thousands of large and small businesses in emerging markets use Gupshup to build conversational experiences across marketing, sales and support. Gupshup's carrier-grade platform provides a single messaging API for 30+ channels, a rich conversational experience-building tool kit for any use case and a network of emerging market partnerships across messaging channels, device manufacturers, ISVs and operators. With Gupshup, businesses have made conversations an integral part of their customer engagement success. Gupshup is present in India, LATAM, South East Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa and the United States. Visit www.gupshup.io. Converse with the Gupshup bot.

Olisa Pal
Dotgo
+1 908-464-5566 ext. 2348
email us here
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Source: EIN Presswire

National Suicide Prevention Month: Why Are So Many Veterans Still Prescribed Suicide-Linked Antidepressants?

One in seven American adults who committed suicide in 2018 was a U.S. military veteran. The suicides averaged 17.6 per day.

By 2013, one in six American service members was on at least one psychiatric drug. At the same time, more than 60% of military suicides were committed by those on antidepressants or recently undergoing outpatient psychiatric care.

Antidepressant use in the U.S. has increased 32% since 2006, which parallels a 35% increase in suicides over the same period. Currently, roughly 1 in 7 Americans take antidepressants.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights has long warned of the dangers of suicidal thoughts and actions and violence from taking and withdrawing from antidepressants.

Human rights group calls on the Veterans Administration to add website warnings about the increased risk of suicidal thoughts and actions from antidepressants.

In any other organization, if you constantly fail you get fired. Why has not psychiatry in the military been relieved of their duties?”

— Col. Bart Billings, retired military psychologist with 34 years of service

WASHINGTON, DC, US, September 23, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Of the 46,510 American adults who committed suicide in 2018, one in seven was a U.S. military veteran, according to the 2020 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The 6,415 veteran suicides in 2018 averaged 17.6 per day.

The upswing in veteran and active military suicides has long been associated with skyrocketing prescriptions for mind-altering drugs. Between 2005 and 2011, the U.S. Department of Defense increased the number of military prescriptions for psychoactive drugs, including antidepressants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers, by nearly 700%, which was more than 30 times faster than the civilian rate.

By 2013, one in six American service members was on at least one psychiatric drug, the Military Times reported.

In 2014, with more than 60% of suicides in the military committed by those on antidepressants or recently undergoing outpatient psychiatric care, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) produced its acclaimed documentary, “Hidden Enemy: Inside Psychiatry’s Covert Agenda,” which linked the soaring prescription and suicide rates. [https://www.cchr.org/documentaries/hidden-enemy/]

Colonel Bart Billings is a retired military psychologist with 34 years of military service, who founded the International Combat Stress Conference, the longest running conference on combat stress in the world. Col. Billings has stated that in all his years of practice with military and veterans diagnosed with "post-traumatic stress syndrome," he never once had to prescribe a mind-altering psychiatric drug.

In a 2014 interview, he explains that 99% of those who go into combat experience “post-traumatic stress, a normal reaction to being in an abnormal environment.” He goes on to say, “If you give them time to normalize themselves…, then the post-traumatic stress dissipates and they get back to living their normal lives.” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F02HElsg8uI]

“I explain to the psychiatrists and psychologists,” he continues, “that you really shouldn’t be medicating them because they have a normal brain, and once you medicate [them], what happens is it’s much, much harder to work with them because now you’re working with someone whose brain functioning is chemically, physiologically changed by the medications.”

Because military psychiatrists have consistently failed to prevent military and veteran suicides, Col. Billings states, “In any other organization, …if you constantly fail, …you get fired,” and he asks, “Why has not psychiatry in the military been relieved of their duties?”

Despite all the mounting evidence of antidepressants increasing the risk of suicide, the U.S. Veterans Administration’s (VA) National Center for PTSD website still promotes antidepressants as a recommended treatment for “PTSD.”

The VA’s website is an example of what one study found was widespread misinformation about antidepressants on medical websites. Published in 2020 in the International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine, the study looked at 39 websites in 10 countries that provided information on antidepressants.

The researchers’ conclusion: “The information was generally inaccurate and unhelpful and has potential to lead to inappropriate use and overuse of antidepressants and reduce the likelihood that people will seek better options for depression like psychotherapy.” They noted that only two of the 39 websites warned that the risk of suicide is increased in people of all ages.

The likely overuse of antidepressants is indicated in recent figures provided by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). In response to a recent FOIA request by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, the VHA revealed that in 2019, 4.2 million of the 9 million U.S. veterans enrolled with the VHA for health care services were prescribed psychotropic drugs,
with 41% (1.75 million) of them prescribed antidepressants.

When the FDA suspected in 2004 that antidepressants could be linked to suicidal thoughts and actions, based on evidence it had reviewed, it asked drug manufacturers of 10 widely used antidepressants to add warnings that patients prescribed the drugs should be monitored for worsening depression and suicidal thoughts and actions, especially when starting or discontinuing the drugs.

Later that year, the FDA ordered that antidepressant labels carry a black box warning concerning the increased risk of suicidal thinking and actions in children and teens, a warning that was officially extended in 2007 to include young adults aged 18 to 24. A black box warning is designed to call attention to serious or life-threatening risks.

Though the FDA has not yet extended the black-box warning to all age groups, studies support the view that it should.

In a landmark 2016 study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, a team of researchers at the Nordic Cochrane Centre reviewed clinical trials in which healthy adults with no history of depression or other mental disorders were given antidepressants. The researchers concluded that “antidepressants double the occurrence of events in adult healthy volunteers that can lead to suicide and violence.”

They further calculated that one of every 16 mentally healthy adults taking antidepressants experienced harm related to suicide or violence. Consider, then, how antidepressants could affect those already struggling with depression, traumatic stress or other mental health issues.

“While it is now generally accepted that antidepressants increase the risk of suicide and violence in children and adolescents (although many psychiatrists still deny this), most people believe that these drugs are not dangerous for adults,” these researchers wrote. “This is a potentially lethal misconception.”

It is not known how antidepressants work. What we do know is that the drugs disrupt the body’s normal biochemistry in ways that are not fully understood.

A team of researchers led by Paul W. Andrews, Ph.D., a psychology professor and evolutionary biologist, analyzed previous studies to determine the overall physical impact of antidepressants on the human body. Antidepressants target serotonin, a neurotransmitter that, in the course of the evolutionary adaptations of the human body, has come to regulate emotion, development, nerve cells, the clotting process, attention, electrolyte balance, and reproduction.

The researchers’ findings, published in 2012 in Frontiers in Psychology, were straightforward: “Our review supports the conclusion that antidepressants generally do more harm than good by disrupting a number of adaptive processes regulated by serotonin.”

Psychiatrist Peter Breggin, M.D., describes antidepressants as neurotoxic because they harm and disrupt the functions of the brain, causing abnormal thinking and behaviors that include anxiety, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, loss of judgment, impulsivity, and mania, which can lead to violence and suicide. [http://breggin.com/antidepressant-drugs-resource-center/]

Antidepressants can also take away the joy in life. “In the long run, antidepressants, like almost all psychiatric drugs, lead to apathy, indifference, and lack of caring,” writes Breggin. “Emotional life is dulled and relationships lack empathy and love.”

What’s more, a 2018 study published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that taking antidepressants led to worse depression symptoms years later. First author Michael P. Hengartner, Ph.D., noted the need for a long-term study because “the efficacy of antidepressants based on mostly industry-funded short-term trials has been challenged due to selective reporting and systematic method biases…and the long-term benefits of antidepressants have also been debated.“ [https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29680831/]

Subjects in the study were assessed for depression symptoms over a 30-year period. The researchers found that those who used antidepressants at any time during the study had an 81% greater chance of having more severe depression symptoms at the end of the study.

The adverse effects of antidepressants are also experienced in the physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms that can result from discontinuing the drugs, especially after long-term use.

“Discontinuation carries a risk for relapse of depression and anxiety, as well as suicidal thoughts,” says the U.S. Pharmacist website.

For identifying other withdrawal symptoms, a psychiatrist came up with the acronym “FINISH”: flu-like symptoms, insomnia, nausea, imbalance, sensory disturbances (often referred to as electric shocks or “brain zaps”), and hyperarousal (anxiety/agitation). [https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9632038/]

A study of “antidepressant discontinuation syndrome,” published in 2020 in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, warned: “Given the widespread use of antidepressants, physicians may be driven by an overestimated consideration of potential benefits, while appraisal of adverse effects are, by comparison, often overlooked.” [https://jom.osteopathic.org/abstract/antidepressant-discontinuation-syndrome-a-common-but-underappreciated-clinical-problem/]

Concerning discontinuation, the researchers wrote, “with extended use, [antidepressants] can be notoriously difficult to quit because they can produce a state of physical dependence.”

Despite the millions of prescriptions written for antidepressants over the years, how to safely discontinue them is still not definitively known. “Tapering regimens have not been validated in systematic studies; therefore, recommendations are based on anecdotal opinion,” the researchers wrote. Referring to the most commonly prescribed class of antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), they advised that “gradual tapering of an SSRI does not completely prevent antidepressant discontinuation syndrome.”

Still further, the researchers, noting that prior research also found an elevated risk of suicidality during both antidepressant use and antidepressant discontinuation, recommended that “patients should be warned about and monitored for the possibility of increased depressive and suicidal symptoms.”

The findings of these and other studies about the increased risk of depression and suicidal thoughts and actions when taking or discontinuing the antidepressants warrant mention on the VA webpage that recommends these drugs. Veterans have a right to the full disclosure of the risks of the drugs recommended to them. Without this vital information, veterans cannot make fully informed decisions about whether to take or stop using antidepressants.

In combating veteran suicides, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights will continue to push for more widespread public awareness of the increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior from taking antidepressants.

CCHR has long recommended that individuals experiencing depression should ask their physician for a complete physical examination with lab tests to discover any underlying physical conditions that could be causing the mental symptoms that would otherwise be misdiagnosed as mental disorders. Many prescription drugs, including antidepressants, are known causes of depression, and a physician should re-evaluate whether to continue prescribing the drugs.

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue or change the dose of an antidepressant is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a physician because of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

With the purpose of eradicating abuses and restoring human rights and dignity to the field of mental health, CCHR was co-founded in 1969 by members of the Church of Scientology and the late psychiatrist and humanitarian Thomas Szasz, M.D., recognized by many academics as modern psychiatry’s most authoritative critic. Since then, CCHR has helped obtain more than 180 laws that protect mental health patients.

The CCHR National Affairs Office in Washington, DC, has advocated for mental health rights at the state and federal level. The CCHR traveling exhibit, which has toured 441 major cities worldwide and educated over 800,000 people on the history of abusive psychiatric practices up to the present time, has been displayed in Washington, DC, at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Caucus and other locations.

Anne Goedeke
Citizens Commission on Human Rights, National Affairs Office
+1 202-349-9267
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Colonel Bart Billings, Psychologist—Help our Veterans, Don’t Label & Drug Them


Source: EIN Presswire