In the News
An American activist who was refused entry to Bahrain on Sunday said he feared the 20 medics being re-tried for allegedly trying to overthrow the regime would be "scape-goated" by the authorities. Richard Sollom, who had flown in to the country with the intention of observing the medics' retrial today, told the Guardian he hoped international pressure would eventually force the King to quash the charges.
In the News
Tens of thousands of Syrians, some of them calling for their president's execution, protested against the authoritarian regime on Friday, as the Arab League indefinitely postponed a meeting on the crisis because of divisions over how to stop the bloodshed. Security forces opened fire during protests and conducted security raids in several places around the country, killing at least 10 people, most of them in Syria's rebellious central region, activists said. The army also sent reinforcements into a southern area where military defectors recently launched deadly attacks on regime troops.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today released a report detailing the Syrian government’s all-out assault on the country’s medical system. PHR’s report includes new and alarming evidence that government forces deny wounded civilians impartial medical treatment; invade, attack, and misuse hospitals; attack and impede medical transport, and detain and torture doctors for treating wounded civilians. These documented attacks illustrate the broader violence that the Syrian people have endured over the past several months.
TIME Magazine talks about the impact of PHR's report on Bahrain and the uproar it caused in Congress, which held up a long planned package of arms sales and training programs worth $53 million to the Bahraini military.
As the revolutions collectively known as “the Arab Spring” have rocked the Middle East and North Africa, medical professionals have often been caught in the crossfire. PHR's Richard Sollom joins WHYY NPR in Philadelphia to discuss doctors under siege in the Arab world, and the pursuit of “medical neutrality” on Capitol Hill and in the United Nations.