News / Middle East

Syrian Government Accused of Targeting Protesters in Hospitals

Henry Ridgwell

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.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Official Pleased With Ebola Containment Measure

Official says three-day sensitization effort will help reduce infection rate of Ebola disease nationwide More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid