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For Immediate Release

A Tribute to Sujal Parikh

Cambridge, Mass - 10/14/2010

Sujal Parikh, far right, and members of the PHR student team
during the 2010 National Student Conference.

PHR mourns the loss of Sujal Parikh. As a member of our Student Advisory Board, Sujal’s passion and insight helped guide our National Student Program. Sujal had recently been awarded a position in Uganda by the Fogarty International Clinical Research Program, where he was working with Dr. Peter Mugyenyi at the Joint Clinical Research Centre. His untimely death is a loss not only for those who knew and loved him but for the thousands whose lives his work would have doubtless touched as a leading human rights activist. Those who worked with Sujal can best capture the spirit of this remarkable man.
— Frank Donaghue, CEO, Physicians for Human Rights

"Sujal was, in all arenas, the embodiment of John F. Kennedy's words: a man whose horizons were never limited by the obvious realities, a man who dreamed of things that never were — and a man who gave his entire life to the advancement of the right to health. As we mourn a friend who personified audacity in all that he did — our generation's Jonathan Mann — we must rededicate ourselves a hundred-fold to advancing Sujal's dream. To do anything less would be the gravest of injustices."
— Ali Khan, MD, MPP, PHR Board Member

"Today we honor Sujal Parikh, our friend, colleague and one of the foremost leaders of his generation with respect to health and human rights. His recent death is a tragedy for those of us who loved him deeply but also for the thousands of people who would have benefited from his creative ingenuity in tackling public health problems and the myriad social disparities that leave the poor and neglected without healthcare. Sujal was an inspiration to us all, and it was evident early on that his intelligence, compassion and refusal to accept the "impossible" would lead him to the forefront of the fight for human rights equality...."
— Katherine Ratzan Peeler, MD, former PHR Student Advisory Board while at Dartmouth Medical School

"It is heartbreaking. I worked closely with him both with the PHR medical student chapter and in our work trying to strengthen our global health curriculum and programs at the University of Michigan. Even in the midst of all of his clinical clerkships these past two years, doing the long-term research in Uganda with children with HIV he was involved in (and where he died), and all his multiple advocacy leadership efforts, he would email me long, thoughtful emails about how we could improve global health, sharing multiple resources with me. I think this quote from his Facebook page profile speaks eloquently to the way he lived his life:

Risk more than others think is safe.
Care more than others think is wise.
Dream more than others think is practical.
Expect more than others think is possible.

—Claude Bissel"

— Michele Heisler, MD, PHR Board Member, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan

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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