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General Considerations for Interviews

The Istanbul Protocol outlines some specific guidelines for forensic examiners to use when conducting evaluations. The purpose is to elicit information in a humane and effective manner. During the evaluation, examiners should pay attention to the psychosocial history of the alleged victim. Relevant psychosocial history may include inquiries into “…the person’s daily life, relations with friends and family, work or school, occupation, interests, future plans and use of alcohol and drugs.” Information about any prescription drugs is important, since the discontinuation of any medications during custody could affect the detainee’s health. Health professionals should be aware of the following considerations in the course of conducting their medical evaluations (see Module 3 for a detailed discussion):

The Istanbul Protocol also provides a series of guidelines to ensure procedural safeguards for medical evaluations of detainees alledging torture and ill-treatment (see Procedural Safeguards for Detaines below).