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.
Syria’s Government Exploits UN Aid System, Starving Civilians (March 14, 2017)
New PHR report shows Syrian government has created illusion of cooperation while ensuring the suffering of civilians
PHR Statement on Veto of Syria Chemical Weapons Sanctions (February 28, 2017)
Physicians for Human Rights today condemns Russia’s veto of a UN Security Council resolution imposing sanctions against those parties responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
PHR response to AP interview with Assad (September 22, 2016)
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continued his outlandish attempt to defend the criminal actions of his own government, lying to the world about his campaign of terror against civilians and medical facilities. President Assad claimed yet again that his forces do not attack hospitals, a position wholly at odds with the facts.
PHR Condemns Brazen Attack on Syrian Humanitarian Convoy (September 20, 2016)
PHR condemned the deadly overnight attack on a humanitarian aid convoy in Syria. The attack killed approximately 20 people, including aid workers and truck drivers, and destroyed 18 trucks loaded with vital food, medical, and other humanitarian supplies meant for tens of thousands of Syrians in opposition-held areas west of Aleppo city.
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Syria's Slow-Motion Slaughter (March 14, 2017)
Last month, the only dialysis center in Douma – a besieged town east of the Syrian capital, Damascus – ran out of supplies and was forced to close. Within two weeks, two of its 30 patients had died of kidney failure. They succumbed to a chronic illness, but the Syrian government contributed to their deaths. Last year, the Syrian government repeatedly withheld humanitarian aid from Douma, whose nearly 150,000 residents have been under siege by Syrian government forces since 2013.
The U.N. General Assembly Can’t Let Syria Become Another Rwanda (September 19, 2016)
World leaders have been given the opportunity to change the situation in Syria and end the ongoing violence at the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
Doctors of Aleppo Abandoned, Again (August 17, 2016)
In their letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, Aleppo’s remaining doctors pleaded not for tears but for a plan to end the Syrian government’s all-out assault on hospitals and medical workers. And the response from the White House was the same as it’s been for months: we’re working on it.
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.
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As the conflict in Syria enters its seventh grueling year, Physicians for Human Rights calls attention to the Syrian government’s continued practice of deliberately and illegally manipulating UN humanitarian access to millions of people trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas of the country.
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.
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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 »