Judge questions medical reports on torture victims

[TamilNet, Friday, 22 September 2000, 16:53 GMT]
The Vavuniya district judge M.Ilancheliyan said that doctors in the northern border town should not disgrace the medical profession by their unbecoming conduct. He said that although doctors at the Vavuniya hospital claimed in their reports that nothing was found wrong with persons arrested and held by the Police and the Sri Lanka army whom they had examined, cigarette burns and contusions due to severe assault were clearly discernible on the suspects bodies when they were asked to remove their shirts during the proceedings in the court.

The judge noted that the court had to take into account an apparent discrepancy between statements by suspects that they had been tortured in custody and the reports by medical doctors who had purportedly examined them.

Mr.Ilancheliyan said that as a consequence the court has directed prison officials to have the said suspects examined by the judicial medical officer of Colombo to determine evidence of torture on their person.

He told a doctor of the Vavuniya hospital who had appeared in court on 19 September to give evidence about the death of a student in Vavuniya town under suspicious circumstances that judges and medical practitioners cannot be pardoned for failing in their duties and engaging in malpractice.

The Vavuniya court will take legal action against doctors at the Vavuniya hospital who may have submitted the reports in question if it is found that the suspects had indeed been tortured the judge told the doctor.

 

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