29 September 2015
Anwar must be provided immediate and specialised medical treatment
Lawyers for Liberty views with extreme concern reports that Anwar Ibrahim has yet to receive the proper medical treatment for his chronic rotator cuff injury on his right shoulder despite persistent complaints by Anwar, his family members and lawyers.
The few times Anwar was brought to the hospital after long delays, he was rushed through the medical test and treatment, and promptly returned to prison. He is still on painkillers and unable to access the intensive physiotherapy as required, as there is no such facilities in prison nor is he brought to the hospital on a regular basis for treatment.
Patients must be able to trust doctors with their lives and health and it is therefore vital that Anwar’s right to proper medical treatment should not be “politicised”. Doctors’ first and foremost responsibility is the best interests of the patient and they must set aside any “political” considerations they may have and treat him solely as medical professionals with his best interests at heart.
Further, the government has a duty to ensure that international standards such as the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Mandela Rules) which was recently revised in 2015 are complied with. Of particular note is Rule 24 which requires that prisoners enjoy the same standards of healthcare that are available in the community, and Rule 27 which requires that prisoners who need specialised treatment or surgery shall be transferred to specialised institutions or to civil hospitals.
Lest we forget, Anwar is a prisoner of conscience and he deserves better treatment than what he is currently receiving. We therefore call upon the authorities to provide Anwar with immediate medical treatment to meet his specialised medical needs and to ensure that his health does not deteriorate further.
Lawyers for Liberty
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