Doctor who was accused of crimes against humanity in Saddam Hussein’s torture jails wins bid for asylum in the UK
- Doctor, identified only as MAB, treated torture patients in the early 1990s in Iraq
- He had been accused of crimes against humanity and denied refugee status
- He was said to be complicit for treating patients who would face further torture
- But the Court of Appeal has found he had no alternative but to treat them
An Iraqi doctor accused of crimes against humanity at Saddam Hussein’s torture prisons has won UK asylum after judges deemed he had no choice.
The 54-year-old, identified only as MAB, treated torture victims while at the dictator’s notorious jails in the early 1990s.
He moved to Libya in 1995 and left Colonel Gaddafi’s regime in 2000, applying for UK asylum in 2007.
He had been denied asylum for his role in Saddam’s Al-Istikhbarat intelligence wing, but the Court of Appeal ruled there was no evidence the doctor was involved in torture, The Telegraph reported.
Saddam Hussein (left) with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat during the 1990s. Under Saddam’s regime in the 1980s and 1990s, over a million people disappeared in Iraq
An investigation by the war crimes department of the Home Office Border Agency had denied him refugee status because he had ‘committed crimes against humanity.’
The medic was not accused of torture but of complicity by treating inmates he knew could face further torment, The Telegraph reported.
In 2015, MAB was successful in arguing he had been under duress while admitting he was complicit in a crime against humanity at an immigration tribunal.
But two years later, then Home Secretary Theresa May disputed the decision and another tribunal overturned the doctor’s defence of duress.
Three judges at the Royal Courts of Justice have now ruled in MAB’s favour, finding a lack of evidence to support any role in torture and that as a doctor, it was incumbent upon him to treat patients regardless of whether they would face further torture.
According to the ruling seen by the The Telegraph, the appeal court ruled: ‘On the FTT’s [First Tier Tribunal] approach, the only way to avoid complicity in such circumstances would be to refuse all treatment …
‘That would be a perverse conclusion and in clear contravention of a doctor’s duty of care.’
In March 2014, MAB’s fitness to practice, which had been revoked, was returned to him by the Medical Practitioner Tribunal, allowing him to treat patients in the UK and support his family.
According to Iraqi authorities, over a million people disappeared during Saddam’s reign in the 1980s and 1990s.
An Iraqi Kurdish woman mourns at the site of a mass grave uncovered last month. The dead, women and children, are thought to have been killed during Saddam’s horrific ‘Anfal’ campaign against the Kurds
Last month, a mass grave with more than 70 bodies of women and children was uncovered in Tal al-Sheikhiya about 200 miles south of Baghdad.
The evidence suggested they died as part of Saddam’s horrific ‘Anfal’ campaign against Iraq’s Kurds.
The operation took place between 1987 and 1988 and saw nearly 180,000 Kurds killed and more than 3,000 villages destroyed.