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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid