UN: Devastating Effect of Assault on Medical Care in Syria


Sept. 13, 2013 –  Almost 40 percent of public hospitals in Syria have been forced to close and up to up to 15 percent of the country’s doctors have left the country, according to a report released Friday from the UN Commission of Inquiry investigating human rights abuses in the country.

The report states that “since the beginning of Syria’s unrest, Government forces have strategically assaulted hospitals and medical units to deprive persons perceived to be affiliated with the opposition of medical care.”

It also says that opposition forces have attacked medical facilities, including the National Hospital in Dara’a.

The report says that anti-terrorism laws enacted by the Assad government in July 2012 have “effectively criminalized medical aid to the opposition.”

“Ambulance drivers, nurses, doctors and medical volunteers have been attacked, arrested, unlawfully detained, and disappeared,” in contravention of international humanitarian law, the report states.

The full report is here.

– Denis Fitzgerald