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Report: Doctors ignored Guantanamo torture

April 27, 2011 at 9:12 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, April 27 (UPI) -- U.S. medical and mental health personnel assigned to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, neglected or concealed medical evidence of torture of detainees, a study says.

A report by Physicians for Human Rights and other rights groups, published by the Public Library of Science, said doctors and other professionals assigned to the U.S. Department of Defense at the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should have been in a position to observe and document physical and psychological evidence of torture and ill treatment.

The report analyzed medical records and relevant case files of nine individuals for evidence of torture and ill treatment and corresponding documentation by medical personnel, a PLOS Medicine release said Wednesday. In each of the nine cases, detainees alleged abusive interrogation methods that are consistent with torture as defined by the U.N. Convention Against Torture.

The report said medical personnel who treated the detainees failed to inquire and/or document causes of the physical injuries and psychological symptoms they observed.

Instead, the report found, psychological symptoms were commonly attributed to "personality disorders" and "routine stressors of confinement," and temporary psychotic symptoms and hallucinations did not prompt consideration of abusive treatment.

Subsequent psychological assessments conducted by non-governmental medical experts revealed diagnostic criteria for current major depression and/or post-traumatic stress syndrome in all nine cases, the report said.

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