Doctors urge Obama to provide independent medical examiners to Guantanamo detainees

By James Meikle, The Guardian
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 21:32 EDT
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Guantanamo protest via AFP
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More than 150 doctors, including from the US, have signed an open letter to Barack Obama, urging him to allow Guantánamo detainees access to independent medical examinations and advice.

They have backed the plea of 13 hunger strikers, made in a letter to the Guardian last month, who said they did not trust military doctors whom they accused of putting their duty to their superiors above their duty to their patients.

According to the authors of the letter, published in the Lancet: “Without trust, safe and acceptable medical care of mentally competent patients is impossible. Since the detainees do not trust their military doctors, they are unlikely to comply with current medical advice. That makes it imperative for them to have access to independent medical examination and advice, as they ask, and as required by the UN and World Medical Association.”

The letter comes as the US government released a list of dozens of Guantánamo Bay prisoners designated as too dangerous to release but who cannot be prosecuted.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2013

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