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Syria: Government Targeting Hospitals

Elmuhajer TV \ News Wires \ Washington

The Syrian government has turned hospitals into instruments of repression in its efforts to crush opposition, according to a new report by the London-based human rights group Amnesty International. Amnesty says wounded patients in at least four government-run hospitals have been subjected to torture and other ill-treatment, including by medical workers.

This is one of the videos Amnesty International says backs its accusation that hospital patients are being targeted. Aired on Syrian state television and posted on YouTube in April, the video appears to show a medic hitting an injured protestor.

Videos like this are impossible to verify independently, because Syria won’t allow Western journalists into the country.

But Cilina Nasser of Amnesty says the evidence she has gathered is overwhelming. “Even before I came across this video, we received consistent testimonies from wounded persons who were subjected to physical abuse at the hands of health professionals. And also testimonies from health professionals who are outraged by the conduct of their colleagues," she said.

This video purports to show dead and injured protestors at a private clinic in the coastal city of Banias. Amnesty says the day after it was posted on YouTube in May, government forces raided the hospital looking for an alleged armed field commander opposed to the government.

“We have documented two cases, one in Banias where they removed at least 11 wounded persons on 8th May. And another one that was more recent on September 7th, in Homs, they raided al-Birr wa al-Khadamat Hospital and removed 18 wounded persons. One of them was on a ventilator, they removed the ventilator and took him along with the others," she said.

The UN says more than 2,900 people have been killed in the crackdown on anti-government protests since they began in March.

Activists say 10 people were killed in a crackdown on protests following the capture of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya last week.

This footage, posted on a social media website, purports to show a man trying to retrieve a protestor’s body from a street in the city of Homs. What happens next is too graphic to broadcast. The rescuer is apparently shot by a sniper. Activists say both men died.

Cilina Nasser says doctors in hospitals face a tough choice. “They either treat the wounded but they have to report these wounded people to the authorities as instructed by the Ministry of Health and therefore putting the wounded patients at risk of arrest or torture, or they disobey the Ministry of Health and protect the wounded persons, not report them to the authorities, and therefore the health professionals themselves become a target of arrest and torture," she said.

Nasser says this YouTube video shows a family who tried to care for the father’s gunshot wounds at home. He died after two days. The family tried to preserve the body with ice to avoid having to take it to the morgue.

According to Amnesty, doctors outside Syria are posting videos on the internet to show Syrians too scared to go to the hospital, how to treat wounds at home.

Amnesty says it sent numerous letters to the Syrian government asking for a response to the allegations but so far has redeived no answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

Arab American Online Television/TV. Films and documentaries by elmuhajer Community TV

El Muhajer TV was launched on October 13, 2005 by the Moroccan journalist Mohamed Said Ouafi with three major goals in mind; to counter the official Arab states' media campaigns that are meant to mislead and misinform rather than educate and inform the public; to provide Moroccans and Arab communities in general and those living in the West in particular with the right information to help them make decisions that affect their lives and future; and to initiate a dialogue with Arab intellectual residing in the United States and Europe to identify and explain political and cultural and economic challenges facing Arab nations and Arab communities everywhere. It is our hope and mission to help our fast growing audience to understand issues of concern and become more aware of their rights and responsibilities, not only as Arab citizens but also as citizens of a culturally and economically globalized world, where all problems, aspirations and ideas travel with the speed of the Internet to affect all peoples and all aspects of life.

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