Arrest of Journalists: Medical report not enough to prove torture- Doctor

Following conflicting reports of alleged torture meted out against some journalist, a medical doctor has urged caution in accepting the medical report on it as conclusive evidence proving the allegation or denying same. 

Dr. Justice Yankson argued on Joy News’ Newsfile Saturday that intervening factors prior to seeing a medical doctor may impact the report.

Factors such as a victim delaying prior to seeing a doctor or taking a form of anti-inflammatory drugs before seeing a doctor have the potential to mask the evidence of torture.

This renders such reports not entirely reliable, he said. 

Multiple media outlets reported the conflicting reports of torture of three journalists who work with Modernghana.com and Peace FM, local media outlets. 

Emmanuel Britwum, Emmanuel Ajafor Abugri and Yaw Obeng Manu who were arrested on allegations of cyber theft, claimed that they were tortured while in detention in National Security facilities.   

But Emmanuel Britwum (one of those who previously made the allegation) has denied the claim of torture.

A purported medical report circulating in the media and alluded to by Dr. Yankson is believed to have confirmed claims that no torture took place.

However, Dr. Yankson said such a report, if proven to be authentic, must not be taken as conclusive on what actually took place.

He also cautioned against the breach of patient’s rights by making their medical records available to the public without lawful authority.

According to him medical facilities in possession of such records cannot release them even under duress unless authorised by the court. 

This caveat, he said, does not preclude investigators working on a case involving patients’ medical records. 

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