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TB check for 'war criminals'.

Byline: NICOLA PORTER

A GANG of asylum seekers who were taken in handcuffs to a Welsh hospital included suspected Kosovo war criminals, it emerged last night.

A human rights row has broken out after the 20 detainees were taken to Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales in handcuffs.

They were being screened for TB after one asylum seeker was found to have the disease.

But it has since been disclosed that some of the prisoners - army officers - are soon to be deported back to Kosovo to face questioning.

A prison source said: "The fact some of the group are arms trained, soon to be deported and likely to abscond influenced the decision to handcuff the group.

"Some are army officers from Kosovo and are wanted for questioning back home.

"All the asylum seekers were individually assessed before being taken to the hospital for the tests."

Tory AM William Graham branded the handcuffing as both "degrading and appalling".

The British Medical Association has also condemned the handcuffing policy.

BMA Welsh secretary Dr Bob Broughton said: "The only time they should be handcuffed is if they are considered to be a danger to staff."
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 5, 2001
Words:191
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