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For Immediate Release

Zimbabwean Doctors To Call for Crisis Response

Cambridge, Mass - 11/18/2008

(Cambridge, MA) – On Wednesday, November 19 at 10:00 AM Eastern, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) and the Zimbabwean Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) will hold a press conference to provide first-hand reports from health professionals on the ground in Harare and to call for an international crisis response to the total collapse of Zimbabwe's health system.

Authorities have recently closed the country's two main hospitals in Harare, including maternity wards, despite reports of a deadly cholera epidemic that the government has not addressed. On Monday, medical students were sent away as the government shut down their school. On Tuesday, over 400 Zimbabwean health professionals organized a mass protest in Harare that riot police broke up.

Who: Doctors and Medical Students from ZADHR join PHR's CEO, Frank Donaghue, who recently returned from a human rights advocacy training for medical students in Harare.
What: Telephone Press Conference
When: Wednesday, November 19, 10:00 AM Eastern
Where: Hosted by PHR, an international non-profit organization headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
How To Participate: Inside the US, dial 1-800-514-0831, then enter conference code # 2328 6073. Outside the US, dial your country code, followed by 1-630-693-2170, then enter conference code # 2328 6073.

A letter from PHR's Frank Donaghue on the emergent situation in Zimbabwe can be found at the Physicians for Human Rights web site, http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/library/letter-09-30-2008-frank.html

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent organization that uses medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. We are supported by the expertise and passion of health professionals and concerned citizens alike.

Since 1986, PHR has conducted investigations in more than 40 countries around the world, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, the United States, the former Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

  • 1986 — Led investigations of torture in Chile gaining freedom for heroic doctors there
  • 1988 — First to document the Iraqi use of chemical weapons on Kurds providing               evidence for prosecution of war criminals
  • 1996 — Exhumed mass graves in the Balkans and Rwanda to provide evidence for               International Criminal Tribunals
  • 1997 — Shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
  • 2003 — Warned US Policymakers on health and human rights conditions prior to and               during the invasion of Iraq
  • 2004 — Documented genocide and sexual violence in Darfur in support of international               prosecutions
  • 2010 — Investigated the epidemic of violence spread by Burma’s military junta
  • 2011 — Championed the principle of noninterference with medical services in times of               armed conflict and civil unrest during the Arab Spring
  • 2012 — Trained doctors, lawyers, police, and judges in the Democratic Republic of the               Congo, Kenya, and Syria on the proper collection of evidence in sexual               violence cases
  • 2013 — Won first prize in the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention with MediCapt, our               mobile app that documents evidence of torture and sexual violence

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