The media is not doing its job thoroughly. It was quick on the gun in reporting allegations that a young man was sodomized while in police custody and as a consequence of this assault he had suffered ruptured intestines.
That allegation of sodomy was only raised two months after the act of sodomy was said to have been committed and after the young man would have had the opportunity to inform the courts what had happened to him. He did say however that he tried telling prison authorities but they laughed at him.
He made a claim for compensation in the sum of one hundred million dollars. That demand took a nose dive after local doctors indicated that he was being treated for a hernia and for complications arising out of a surgery that involved the removal of a large part of his intestines. The prison authorities were also reported to have indicated that the young man was taken for treatment at a local hospital after he had jumped from a platform.
This case was being highlighted by a local opposition party which seemed to have decided what had happened without first having a medical report to confirm that indeed a foreign object had inserted into the man’s rectum.
The doctors from the local hospital, against the wishes of the young man, had subsequently discharged him from the hospital and he was immediately taken to Jamaica for treatment.
This is the first fact that is being overlooked by the local media. Why if an independent medical examination was needed to determine the actual injuries and possible causes of those injuries to the young man, was it necessary to take the young man to Jamaica?
Is there no local medical professional who can give an independent medical analysis of this case? Are our local doctors not trusted to provide an independent medical opinion on this case?
The police investigation into the allegations made by the young man against police ranks had in the meantime been completed and the file was being examined by the head of the Police Complaints Authority before being forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
There were unconfirmed suggestions in the media that a charge of sodomy could not have been proposed because the medical evidence was not strong enough. It was however suggested that charges of police assault may be laid against the implicated ranks. If upheld, these charges would have substantially reduced the demand for compensation which was originally said to be one hundred million dollars.
Before the DPP could complete her review of the police file or before charges were instituted, the news came via a press conference that the medical examination in Jamaica had established that a foreign object had indeed been inserted into the young man’s rectum and that “active rectal mucosa bleeding” had taken place.
It was at this point that the media seems to have gone into a deep slumber. Since this latest opinion would have been given close to three months after the alleged sodomy was said to have taken place, a number of questions needed to be asked of this independent medical opinion.
For example, which medical professional had provided this independent opinion confirming that a foreign object had indeed penetrated the rectum of the young man? What was the doctor’s name and what are his professional qualifications? These are basic questions to confirm that this independent medical assessment came from a competent and qualified professional. The media is yet to ask those questions. Why?
The media is also yet to seek confirmation as to if the medical assessment could have established when exactly the foreign object had been inserted into the young man’s rectum. After all, there could have been penetration anytime after the alleged sodomy was said to have taken place?
What was the basis for this assessment that there was penetration by a foreign object? Was it ”active rectal mucosa bleeding”? And is there any such medical terminology? And could such bleeding have come from other sources such as the complications from the surgery?
The media has equally not sought its own independent medical advice to determine whether it is possible so long after an alleged sodomy took place, for evidence to still be present confirming that act.
The media has neglected its responsibility to assess what is being said about this case, so as to allow the public to make an informed opinion about this case. One has to therefore question the reasons why the media have not been questioning the source and credibility of this new evidence that has emerged. Not even the doctor’s name was asked for. Nor has this latest medical report been made public.
Has the media already made up its mind as to what took place and is not interested in examining all sides to this issue? Or it is a case of the media selectively ignoring certain statements and angles just like it did last year when a member of the Guyana Elections Commission wrote a letter to the press in which he pointed out that during the 2011 elections, the results of nineteen polling stations were left out of the official count of the votes in Region 3, a Region that the PPPC won handsomely.
Could it be that these votes that were not counted would have annulled the one seat majority of the combined opposition? And is this the reason why the media is not highlighting this issue?
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