Attacks in Syria
Since mid-March, 2011, Syrian government forces have sought to crush citizen uprisings. More than 10,000 people have been killed and at thousands of others are reported to be in custody or missing.
In addition to the widely reported atrocities committed by the government, PHR has discovered reports of grievous attacks on medical facilities, health workers, and patients and documented these alarming assaults on the medical profession.
PHR calls on Dr. Assad to end assaults on Syria’s hospitals, doctors, and patients—a clear violation of the universally recognized principles of medical neutrality. Medical neutrality requires noninterference with medical services in times of armed conflict and nondiscriminatory treatment of the sick and wounded.
Both sides of the conflict must immediately abide by all relevant international laws; they must cease all attacks on civilians, and take immediate steps to abide by the terms of the ceasefire agreement. The sick and wounded must be provided the help they need, and medical professionals must be free to do their job without interferences.
Latest Wave of Killings and Arrests in Burma Must be Investigated (January 23, 2014)
PHR has expressed concern over reports of mass killings and arrests of Rohingya Muslims in Burma, and called on the Burmese authorities to urgently investigate the incidents and hold all those responsible accountable for these crimes.
Turkish President Signs Bill that Criminalizes Emergency Medical Care (January 17, 2014)
PHR expressed concern today over the Turkish president’s signing of a bill that will criminalize certain aspects of emergency care and punish medical professionals.
PHR Submits Statement on Syria’s Refugee Crisis to Senate Committee (January 7, 2014)
The United States should immediately convene a humanitarian summit with Russia and other nations in order to improve humanitarian aid in Syria; take steps to allow more Syrian refugees to resettle in the United States; and provide funding to address their health and other needs.
Turkey Passes Bill that Criminalizes Emergency Medical Care (January 3, 2014)
The Turkish parliament passed a bill today that will criminalize emergency medical care and punish doctors with heavy fines and imprisonment for assisting those in need. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is urging the president of the Turkish Republic, Abdullah Gul, not to sign the bill, which would have a chilling effect on access to medical care.
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Health Crisis in Rakhine State (March 2, 2014)
While the news that Médecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) will be allowed to continue their work in most of Burma is certainly welcome, the decision by the Burmese government to shut down the MSF’s operations in Rakhine state continues a trend of denying rights to the Muslim population who lives there.
Sunday Bloody Sunday – Another Day in Syria (February 23, 2014)
As I read about the latest in a string of attacks on Syrian field hospitals and medical staff – this time a car bomb that killed 14 people and wounded 70 in a Syrian town on the Turkish border – the classic and morbid U2 song, which memorializes violence against civilian protesters in Northern Ireland, echoed in my head.
Medical Personnel Targeted in Ukraine (February 21, 2014)
As the dust settles in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, with an agreement between the government and opposition groups, many questions remain. Will there be an independent investigation into the government’s tactics to put down the protests, including the reported use of snipers, which violate the principles on use of force?
On Three-Year Anniversary of Bahrain’s Protests, Medics Remain Imprisoned (February 14, 2014)
In response to peaceful protests demanding greater political freedom and equality that started thee years ago today in Bahrain, the government responded with excessive force, using tear gas as a weapon and targeting activists and health professionals with torture and arbitrary detention.
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PHR and leading medical organizations sent a letter to Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan to express concerns over the Ministry of Health taking punitive actions against physicians, including members of the Turkish Medical Association (TMA), who provided emergency medical care to demonstrators during the Gezi Park protests that begain in May 2013.
As Olympic Games Open in Sochi, 37 Humanitarian, Human Rights, and Peace Organizations Call for UNSC Resolution to Open Syria to Aid (February 2014)
As the world unites to celebrate the spirit of the Olympic Games, PHR and 36 other organizations call on all members of the Security Council to support a binding resolution demanding all parties to the conflict guarantee safe, full and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to populations in need in all areas of Syria.
An Appeal to President Putin and the Russian Government (February 2014)
As the Olympic Games begin in Sochi, 47 signatories, including PHR broad member, Justice Richard J. Goldstone, callon President Vladimir Putin of Russia to lead efforts to agree on a UN Security Council humanitarian resolution that calls for Syria’s parties to the conflict to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and open Syria’s conflict lines and borders to ensure aid reaches all those in need, including through local ceasefires.
Syria's Medical Community Under Assault (January 2014)
This fact sheet illustrates the deliberate targeting and destruction of medical facilities by government and opposition forces, loss of medical personnel, and resulting health consequences in Syria.
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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 »