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Kuwaiti judge orders medical commission to investigate allegations of torture

[JURIST] A Kuwaiti judge has approved an independent medical commission to investigate allegations of torture by 37 detainees being held by Kuwaiti authorities for plotting attacks against US soldiers and killing four policemen in January. The medical board, made up of three medical professors from Kuwait University [Health Sciences Center website], was directed to examine the detainees after the judge found scars on two of the suspects. Lawyers for the suspects claim they have been tortured to elicit confessions regarding the charges against them. The judge originally sent ten of the suspects to the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry [official website in Arabic] but their report was questioned by defense attorneys who called for the independent investigation. In February, the accused leader of the group died while in police custody from a heart attack after being taken to a military hospital for breathing problems, and a Kuwaiti journalist complained he was beaten by interrogators to give up his sources during a short detention by security officers. The question of torture in Kuwait prisons takes on additional significance as the US has transferred a number of terror suspects to Kuwait [NYT report] from Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere. Aljazeera has more.

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