Attorney: State acted appropriately

At least one Hu­man Rights At­tor­ney has ex­pressed the view that the state fol­lowed the right process af­ter it re­ceived a com­plaint about the con­di­tions at the Trans­formed Life Min­istries Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre (TLM).

Se­nior Part­ner at Hove and As­so­ciates, Farai Hove Me­sai­sai said it is too ear­ly to make a judge­ment on charges against the own­ers. He said more in­for­ma­tion needs to be had on the cir­cum­stances that led to the peo­ple be­ing at TLM and ev­i­dence to back up any claims made.

 

“We know for a fact there were cages and we know for a fact that per­sons were in the cages. Just by watch­ing you might say that is a hu­man rights is­sue, per­sons be­ing in cages in the 21st cen­tu­ry. But we don’t know the facts sur­round­ing it. We don’t know if they were be­ing caged for their own pro­tec­tion, to pro­tect them from them­selves...I don’t know.”

He said a prop­er­ly qual­i­fied psy­chi­a­trist would be the best per­son to say whether such prac­tices were suit­able.

How­ev­er, as it re­lates to the state’s in­volve­ment in the mat­ter, Me­sai­sai ex­pressed the view that based on what he has seen in the me­dia, prop­er pro­ce­dures were fol­lowed by all agen­cies.

“If the Min­is­ter has tak­en the high road and say we go­ing to shut down this busi­ness with­out hav­ing that in­ves­ti­ga­tion first, put the cart be­fore the horse, then the state might have been li­able for a law­suit for loss of earn­ings and all these sort of things.

The more pru­dent thing would have been to al­low the po­lice to do their in­ves­ti­ga­tion, al­low them to gath­er their ev­i­dence and al­low the court to make a de­ci­sion on it.”

 

He main­tained though that the best per­son to ad­vise the state on such mat­ter would be the At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al Rawi.

Health Min­is­ter Ter­rence Deyals­ingh said that af­ter re­ceiv­ing a com­plaint in June, the Coun­ty Med­ical Of­fi­cer, the po­lice and Di­vi­sion of Age­ing vis­it­ed the in­sti­tu­tion. He added that the Men­tal Health Unit al­so went to the site on Ju­ly 1.

He said at that time, sev­er­al caged iso­la­tion rooms were found but were ex­plained as tem­po­rary seclu­sion rooms for vi­o­lent clients.

He added that fol­low­ing the vis­it, sev­er­al rec­om­men­da­tions were made to get the busi­ness to be­come an ap­proved home. He ex­plained that up to two weeks ago this was be­ing done.

Reporter: Chester Sambrano

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