Nathaniel Raymond

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Nathaniel Raymond
Nathaniel Raymond 2013.jpg
Born (1977-11-11) November 11, 1977 (age 42)
EducationDrew University, B.A in Religious Studies (1999)
Occupationhuman rights investigator, anti-torture advocate
Spouse(s)Megan Griscom
Parent(s)Richard N. Raymond
Susan Swedis
RelativesLiza Raymond (sister)
Wardwell "Burt" Cox (brother)

Nathaniel Raymond (born November 11, 1977) is an American human rights investigator, specializing in the investigation of war crimes,[1] including mass killings and torture.[2] Raymond directed the anti-torture campaign at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), and the utilization of satellite surveillance by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI). Raymond advocates the use of intelligence by human rights groups and other non-governmental organizations.

Early life and personal information[edit]

Nathaniel Adam Raymond was born in Massachusetts in 1977 to Richard N. Raymond, an antiques dealer, and Susan Swedis, a biology and environmental science professor. He grew up in Brimfield and Northborough Massachusetts. Raymond is a graduate of Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, with a B.A. in Religious Studies.[3] Raymond resides in New Haven, Connecticut, and is married to Megan Griscom, a Harvard-educated architect. He has an older brother and younger sister, both of whom live in Massachusetts.[4]

Anti-torture campaign[edit]

"This is arguably the single greatest medical-ethics scandal in American history."
— Raymond, regarding the complicity of healthcare professionals with torturing prisoners.[5]

Raymond led Physicians for Human Rights' investigation into torture by the United States government and other governments as part of the War on Terror. He oversaw an inquiry into Dasht-i-Leili massacre in northern Afghanistan, which included the discovery of a mass grave site in 2002.[6][7] In 2008, the United States Defense Department and State Department released documentation in response to Freedom of Information Act requests by Raymond indicating that 1500-2000 people were killed at Dasht-i-Leili.[6][8]

He directed an investigation into the role of psychologists during torture sessions, and has alleged that the American Psychological Association (APA) changed its ethics policy specifically to allow psychologists to be present during investigations when torture is used. Raymond criticized the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and United States Department of Defense for performing torture and human experimentation on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and at black sites.[9][10] He stated that those acts were in violation of the Geneva Conventions, the United Nations Convention against Torture, the Nuremberg Code, and the War Crimes Act of 1996, and has advocated the prosecution of CIA agents and military personnel who engaged in torture.[11][12]

Raymond has recommended that Congress modify the War Crimes Act to strengthen its prohibition against human experimentation, and that state governments specifically prohibit health care professionals from participating in torture or the improper treatment of prisoners.[9][13] The documentaries Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death and Doctors of the Dark Side were based in part on Raymond's work.[14][15]

Satellite surveillance[edit]

Raymond in 2013 at a PopTech event

Raymond was the director of operations for the Satellite Sentinel Project, a program sponsored by George Clooney, and coordinated through the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, which utilized satellite imagery and other information to produce reports on the security situation in the Sudan.[3][16] In 2011, the Satellite Sentinel Project detected images of freshly-dug mass grave sites in the Southern Kordofan state of Sudan, where Sudan’s Arab military had been targeting the black ethnic minority.[17][18] Raymond stated that the Sudanese military violated the Geneva Conventions during their capture of the town of Abyei.[19]

Raymond founded and currently directs Harvard's Signal Program, which conducts research and teaching on the use of technology to document and prevent human rights violations.[20] Raymond has advocated the use of human intelligence and satellite surveillance to investigate and prevent human rights abuses, but has also expressed concerns about the misapplication or abuse of that data.[21][22] The Signal Program is developing guidelines for how human rights workers should interpret satellite data.[20] Raymond has also stated that an ethics code should be created for the use of crisis mapping.[22][23] For his work with satellite surveillance, Raymond was named a PopTech Social Innovation Fellow in 2013.[24]


  1. ^ Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. [1] (2014). Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  2. ^ Physicians for Human Rights. "Nathaniel Raymond" (2010). Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  3. ^ a b Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. "Nathaniel A. Raymond" (archived website) (2010). Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  4. ^ Coto, Bob and Pat. "Our Northern Friends Continued: Richard "Dick" and Sue Raymond" on Little Home On The Net (blog) (19 May 2009). Retrieved 7 July 2013. Article is an obituary for Richard N. Raymond, who is the father of Nathaniel Raymond.
  5. ^ Mayer, Jane. "Can Leon Panetta move the C.I.A. forward without confronting its past?" in The New Yorker (22 June 2009). Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  6. ^ a b Risen, James. "U.S. Inaction Seen After Taliban P.O.W.’s Died" in The New York Times (10 July 2009). Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  7. ^ Smith, James F. "NY Times probe cites PHR's Afghan work" in The Boston Globe (10 July 2009). Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  8. ^ "A Mass Grave In Afghanistan Raises Questions" on National Public Radio (23 July 2009). Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  9. ^ a b Raymond, Nathaniel and Scott Allen (M.D.). Physicians for Human Rights. Experiments in Torture: Evidence of Human Subject Research and Experimentation in the Enhanced Interrogation Program. (Cambridge, MA: 2012).
  10. ^ Wadman, Meredith. "Medics performed interrogation research" in Nature (7 June 2010). Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  11. ^ Lewis, Tara A. "Did CIA Doctors Experiment on Terror Suspects?" in Newsweek (24 June 2010). Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  12. ^ Jakes, Lara. "White House: No grounds to probe Afghan war crimes" in The Associated Press (10 July 2009). Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  13. ^ Gamage, Daya. "U.S. cited for War Crimes: used terrorism suspects as human guinea pigs" in The Asian Tribune (11 June 2010). Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  14. ^ Lasseter, Tom. "As possible Afghan war-crimes evidence removed, U.S. silent" in McClatchy Newspapers (11 December 2008). Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  15. ^ Corey, Joe. "DVD Review: Doctors of the Dark Side" in Inside Pulse (27 June 2013). Retrieved 3 November 2013.
  16. ^ Meldrum, Andrew. "Clooney launches project to monitor Sudan" in GlobalPost (2 January 2011). Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  17. ^ Chappell, Bill. "South Sudan Joins U.N.; Mass Graves Reported In Nearby Sudan" on National Public Radio (14 July 2011). Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  18. ^ Harris, Paul. "George Clooney's satellite spies reveal secrets of Sudan's bloody army" in The Guardian (24 March 2012). Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  19. ^ Fick, Maggie. "Satellite photos show Sudanese war crimes, watchdog claims" in The Christian Science Monitor (31 May 2011). Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  20. ^ a b Davies, Benjamin. "HHI Concludes Satellite Sentinel Project Pilot, Launches Signal Program" by The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (press release) (18 July 2012). Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  21. ^ Harlow, Frances. Crisis Spotting (Drone Humanitarianism II). Media Berkman, 9 November 2012. Radio podcast.
  22. ^ a b Raymond, Nathaniel, Caitlin Howarth & Jonathan Hutson "Crisis Mapping Needs an Ethical Compass" in Global Brief (6 February 2012). Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  23. ^ Tovrov, Daniel. "George Clooney And The New Ethics Of Satellite Surveillance" in The International Business Times (16 March 2012). Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  24. ^ PopTech. "Nathaniel Raymond" (19 September 2013). Retrieved 20 September 2013.

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