Since the outbreak of violence in Syria in March 2011, more than 190,000 people have died according to the UN. Among other atrocities that have occurred during the conflict, there have been serious violations of medical neutrality. PHR has been documenting attacks on medical personnel and facilities across the country in this interactive map.
In light of reports of apparent chemical weapon attacks in Syria, PHR has made available chemical weapons fact sheets meant to educate and provide guidance to physicians who may become first responders in a chemical warfare agents attack. We have also developed an informational fact sheet on nerve agent exposure and chemical weapons evidence collection meant to provide an overview of the deadly effects of nerve agents, as well as the procedure for the professional documentation of evidence of chemical warfare agents use and exposure.
Civilians in Syria’s besieged town of Madaya are dying from malnutrition, starvation, and other preventable diseases, according to a new report published by PHR and the Syrian American Medical Society.
Deadly Aleppo Airstrikes Damage Two Syrian Hospitals (June 8, 2016)
Airstrikes in Syria damaged two hospitals in opposition-controlled areas of Aleppo today, killing and wounding dozens. Working with information from its partners on the ground, PHR says both facilities are now out of service.
In Conflict Zones Worldwide, Medical Facilities and Personnel in 19 Countries Are Under Relentless Attack (May 23, 2016)
In conflict zones around the world, health care workers and facilities are under relentless attack, according to a new report “No Protection, No Respect” from the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition.
PHR Welcomes Agreement to Supply Aid to Besieged Syrian Cities, Urges Vigilance to Enforce Pact (May 18, 2016)
PHR today cautiously welcomed an international agreement to facilitate aid deliveries in Syria’s besieged cities and towns, including a provision that if Syria’s government does not permit immediate access by June 1, the UN may begin airdropping supplies.
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Starving to Death in Madaya (July 13, 2016)
In late spring 2016, 12-year-old Ola died in Syria. In a place where her death could easily have been caused by barrel bombs, missiles, or mortar fire, she instead suffered a slow and painful death from starvation. This happened because she lived in Madaya.
Conversations: One Doctor’s Struggle for Justice (June 2, 2016)
The only way to reinstate peace and stability in Syria is to document ongoing crimes in the hopes that those responsible will some day be brought to justice, according to a doctor working with Physicians for Human Rights along the Turkish border.
Assad, Beware the Long Arm of Justice (April 13, 2016)
As a shaky ceasefire in Syria appears on the verge of collapse, peace talks are set to resume in Geneva this week. It’s a harrowing time for Syrians, made all the worse by the Syrian government continuing to willfully cut off deliveries of food and medicine to civilians.
We Must Hold Assad to Account for Murdering Doctors and Journalists (March 23, 2016)
On December 23, a paramedic with the civil defense, or White Helmets, was killed by Syrian government shelling while aiding the wounded in al Nashabiya, a small town in besieged Eastern Ghouta, in the Damascus suburbs. Three others were killed and 13 injured during that assault.
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Madaya: Portrait of a Syrian Town Under Siege (July 2016)
The Syrian government has besieged Madaya – a small town controlled by opposition forces an hour’s drive from Damascus – trapping residents inside without access to supplies, food, or services outside the town since July 2015.
Update on Syria – April 2016 (April 2016)
Syria’s cessation of hostilities, which came into effect on February 27, was supposed to reduce violence and guarantee delivery of humanitarian aid to desperate populations in need across Syria. The reduction of violence witnessed in the first weeks of the cessation has started to reverse course, and the cessation has largely failed on its promises to deliver life-saving humanitarian aid to the millions of Syrians in besieged and hard-to-reach areas.
Director of Programs Widney Brown of Physicians for Human Rights delivered remarks at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Briefing - Five Years of War in Syria: Health Care Under Attack.
Syria Cessation of Hostilities Fails on Aid Delivery (March 2016)
Despite a cessation of hostilities agreement that has temporarily reduced violence in Syria, Physicians for Human Rights finds in this issue brief that life-saving humanitarian aid is still not reaching hundreds of thousands of besieged Syrians.
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The Syrian government has responded to popular protests with months of sustained and extreme violence and intimidation, and an all-out assault on the country’s medical system. PHR has documented attacks on Syria’s medical profession – violations that are but one aspect of the myriad abuses the Syrian people have endured over the past several months. Read More »