Government forces have deliberately attacked medical facilities across Syria, systematically targeted doctors and other health providers with violence, arrests and killings, and repeatedly denied medical care to the sick and wounded in violation of international humanitarian laws, according to a new U.N. report.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), the World Medical Association (WMA), the German Medical Association (GMA) and the Standing Committee of European Doctors/Comité Permanent des Médecins Européens (CPME) sent a letter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan today asking his government to immediately stop the use of tear gas and excessive force, which has led to the deaths of five civilians and more than 8,000 injuries among demonstrators.
Following a Bahraini criminal court’s acquittal this week of two military officers charged with torturing detainees and medical personnel, PHR renews its call for Bahrain’s government to make promised improvements to its justice system, including independent investigations and prosecutions that conform to internationally recognized legal standards of accountability.
PHR today helped introduce a bill that would protect health workers globally from increasing attacks during times of war and unrest, and ensure they can continue to provide services without fear of violence, retribution, or arrest.
Amid accumulating signs that chemical weapons may have been used recently in Syria, PHR repeats its call for a thorough independent investigation of such allegations to be conducted immediately that follows forensic protocols for handling evidence.