Sequelae to torture. A controlled study of torture victims living in exile

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

  • H P Hougen
  • Jesper Dahl Kelstrup
  • H D Petersen
  • O V Rasmussen
Twenty-eight Turkish refugees living in Denmark were examined by the authors in the period 1984-85. Fourteen of the persons alleged having been tortured in Turkey during the period 1980-83. The remaining 14 persons reported that they had not been tortured and thus acted as controls. All the testimonies were found valid according to a method previously used by us. The most common forms of violence reported were blows and electrical torture. Blindfolding, solitary confinement and threats were also frequent. At the time of examination the main mental complaints were sleep disturbances with nightmares and impaired memory. Emotional lability and concentration disturbances were also frequent. Physically the torture victims suffered from headache, various cardio-pulmonary and muscular pains, dyspepsia and reading disturbances. All reported that they had been healthy before torture. The clinical examination revealed only a few signs related to torture, although examples of minimal scars, fractured or missing teeth, discrete neurological disorders and mental depression were found. The 14 controls had significantly fewer complaints, and almost no abnormalities were found during the clinical examination. The present study clearly demonstrates the traumatic effects of torture.
TidsskriftForensic Science International
Udgave nummer1-2
Sider (fra-til)153-60
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - jan. 1988

ID: 44516110