Torture boy cleared for treatment in UK

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The Independent Online

A boy tortured by rebels during the civil war in Sierra Leone will be treated in Britain for his injuries, the Department of Health said on Tuesday night.

Issa Kamara's hopes for treatment were initially dashed when he was prevented from coming to Britain by government red tape.

But Jacqui Smith, Minister of State for Health, said the 10-year-old would now be allowed to undergo surgery. "The case of this young boy has rightly touched everyone's heart. I am therefore pleased to confirm that Issa will receive the treatment he needs in the UK at the earliest possible opportunity," she said.

The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital had agreed to fund the surgery but the Department of Health said at first that medical charges could not be waived as Britain does not have a reciprocal treatment agreement with the West African country.

Issa was captured by rebels in 1998 along with his mother, Mabinty. She was raped and then rebels held Issa over a fire while making his mother clap and sing to save his life.

He now needs corrective surgery to burns on his face and an operation to correct bones in his wrist and hand, which are growing the wrong way.