March 8, 2013
A UK-based Iraqi doctor has been suspended for one year for complicity in acts of torture. The doctor, Mohammed Al-Byati (47), carried out medical procedures on brutalised detainees at camps in Iraq between 1992 and 1994.
A medical panel heard evidence the doctor knew that some prisoners he treated had been tortured, and it was likely that they would be tortured again. This constitutes accessory or complicity to torture, the panel concluded.
Suspending him from the medical register for a maximum of 12 months, panel chairman Professor Michael Whitehouse, said: ‘It has been noted Dr Al-Byati’s actions were a consequence of compulsory military service in the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. He was a junior doctor whose behaviour was being controlled by a dictatorial regime which used extremely grave violations of rights to control the population.’ However: ‘Even though his involvement was outside his control, such conduct is unacceptable.’
Given this context, the panel decided not to struck off the doctor from the UK’s medical register, but suspend him for a year. Charles Garside, prosecuting on behalf of the General Medical Council, claimed the doctor, a Sunni Muslim from a well-known family of Saddam supporters, knew his place of work at the Iraqi Intelligence Agency compound was a place where ‘horrific atrocities were committed’ against Shia Muslims and Kurds. In addition, the Iraqi Association, which helps torture victims settle in Britain, called the decision to let the doctor return in the National Health Service ‘outrageous’.
Source: The Mirror