Prime News Ghana

Arrest of Journalists : Facts in medical report not enough to rule out torture claims - Physician

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Modern Ghana Journalists with their lawyer
Modern Ghana Journalists with their lawyer

Dr. Justice Yankson says facts represented in the medical report of the two Modern Ghana journalists are not enough to rule out their torture claims.

Dr Justice Yankson said there are a lot of factors that may not allow a medical examination to readily determine whether or not the journalists have been tortured.

According to the medical report which was based on physical examination and x-rays there were no abrasions or lacerations and no swelling even as at Saturday morning when the journalists were released and reported to the hospital for initial examination.

Tuesday’s more detailed examination and x-rays also revealed no signs of torture. Parts of the report read; “He is anisteric, not pale, hydration is fair, chest is clear and shows no abnormalities. He also has no swelling and no reddening of his eyes”. X-ray reports also show no sign of injury to his tissues.

Taking his turn as a panellist on Joy FM's 'Newsfile', Dr. Justice Yankson explained that delay in examination and medication before the examination can be some of the factors that will not allow a doctor to see signs and symptoms of torture.

"If you go through the details of what we have seen there are certain things we need to bear in mind the issue of time lapse, when incidents happen the evidence is best seen when you go straight the health facility at that point the medical personnel is in the right position to pick up all the signs and symptoms that you may talk about, now when there is time lapse some of these may have disappear especially when there have been intervening events so when you get to that situation the doctor will document what you are saying by way of your history and what they will also find by examination, the fact that they may have not found certain things under examination does not necessarily mean that they may not have been there at some point in time because you came in late so in this record you see that the first time he visited the place was after some three days and then the second was the sixth day clearly that time line will have mud some of the signs that you could have picked becuase there have been intervening activities like medication anti-inflamatory drugs at the point that the doctor examined and concluded that there some  musculoskeletal pain secondary to some trauma the doctor could not really tell what.."

"As far us the medical report we have seen is concerned if we assume that these are the set of facts then it is not enough to ruled out the fact that there was no torture," he concluded.