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For Immediate Release

Government of Egypt is Urged to Halt Attacks on Medical Establishments and Personnel

PHR demands government refrain from interfering with access to medical care for wounded

Cambridge, Mass. - 05/14/2012

In a letter to the Egyptian Ministers of Health, Defense and Interior, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today called for the Egyptian government to immediately halt all attacks on medical establishments and personnel and to refrain from interfering with the right of the wounded to access medical care.

>> Take Action to send your own letter to these officials. Tell them to stop attacking medical professionals, facilities, and wounded protestors.

PHR and the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) have continually expressed concern regarding the Government of Egypt’s violations of medical neutrality since the beginning of the revolution in January 2011. PHR and EIPR have documented numerous violations, including attacks on health professionals, the improper use of tear gas, the targeting of medical transport, and the arrests of those seeking medical care.

“PHR joins the EIPR in demanding that the Egyptian government end these terrible violations against the country’s wounded and vulnerable populations,” said Donna McKay, Executive Director of PHR. “The Government must immediately reverse course and show the international community that it is committed to honoring the principle of medical neutrality and protecting the country’s injured citizens. To do this, the people who have committed these attacks must be held accountable for their actions and security forces must be properly trained about the necessity of protecting the principle of medical neutrality.”

PHR researchers conducted an investigation into these violations of medical neutrality in February 2012 and have collaborated with the EIPR to document and analyze attacks on health professionals, health facilities, medical transport, and patients. PHR firmly supports this work of the EIPR and their documentation of violations of medical neutrality.

PHR researchers have documented violations of medical neutrality across the world and throughout the Arab Spring in countries including Syria, Bahrain, Egypt, and Libya. PHR continues to push for governments to respect the principle of medical neutrality and for accountability for all those responsible for committing such attacks.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.

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