New research from the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) has revealed that 222 medical professionals have been killed by the Assad regime since the Syrian uprising began and at least 989 medical staff have been detained, with many still in custody. Medical personnel inside Syria have said that the Syrian government is specifically targeting medical facilities and personnel.
Omar*, a doctor in Damascus and the founder of Coordinating Doctors of Damascus, reported: “When the demonstrations began in Damascus, security forces started a systematic campaign against doctors who are trying to help the wounded. The Air Force Intelligence branch led on suppressing and targeting medical workers. For the regime, the educated and doctors are wanted more than the FSA fighters.”
The Syrian Network for Human Rights has compiled data on medical professionals who have been detained, tortured and/or killed during the conflict which includes the following:
• Between March 15, 2011 and March 30, 2013 researchers for SNHR have documented the names of 222 medical workers killed by the regime, including 105 doctors, 71 paramedics, and 46 pharmacists. Eight of them were women, 24 were killed under torture and 5 were executed, according to eyewitnesses inside the country. The main areas that people were killed are 60 in Homs province, 34 in Aleppo, 31 in the Damascus suburbs, 31 in Idlib province, and 19 in Hama province. The SNHR data on those killed can be seen here.
• SNHR have the names of at least 989 staff medical staff who have been detained in Syria since the start of the uprising. In addition, eyewitness accounts from people who have recently been released from detention have told SNHR that the actual number is far higher. The SNHR data can be seen here.
• SNHR has documented the names of 374 civilians, among them 49 newborn babies and 48 women, who have died due to lack of access to adequate medical care in the wake of the Syrian government’s assaults. The SNHR date can be seen here.
SNHR founder Fadel Abdulghani said: “We are witnessing a catastrophic denial of basic human rights in Syria with doctors being targeted by the regime. Our network of doctors inside Syria are desperate for aid to save lives – the silence of the international community in taking action on Syria makes them complicit in this crisis.