The Killing of 81 Medics and Civil Defense Personnel in the First Half of 2016

Including 11 in June 2016

Medics and Civil Defense Personnel

SNHR has published its monthly report on the violations against medics and civil defense personnel by the conflict parties in Syria. The report documented the killing of 81 medics and civil defense personnel in the first half of 2016 including 11 who have fallen in June 2016.
The report notes that government forces have been bombing and targeting medical facilities since 2011. Also, conflict parties have killed and arrested medics and civil defense personnel. All of these practices indicate a systematic policy that only aims to kill more people and deepen the suffering of the injured civilians and armed men.
Additionally, the report says that most of the Syrian governorates have seen a notable and a relatively good decline in killing rates compared with previous months since 2011 after the commencement of the Cessation of Hostilities statement on 27 February 2016 especially in areas controlled by armed opposition factions. However, the violations haven’t been ceased, particularly the targeting of vital medical facilities and its personnel by the Syrian regime and its allies.

One day after the High Negotiation Committee decided to postpone its participation in Geneva talk on 19 April, government forces and Russian forces resumed bombing areas outside the Syrian regime’s control and the killing rates increased back to its former levels before the Cessation of Hostilities.
The report records that 81 medics and civil defense personnel were killed in the first half of 2016; 31 of them were killed at the hands of government forces while 26 were killed by Russian forces. Additionally, 13 were killed by ISIS, four by the armed opposition factions, and one by self-management forces. In addition, six medical personnel and civil defense personnel were killed by unidentified groups.
The report notes that government forces killed one doctor, two paramedics including one woman, one Red Crescent volunteer, 23 civil defense personnel, and two medical personnel while Russian forces killed four doctors, two paramedics, eight nurses including four women, two Red Crescent volunteers, three civil defense personnel, and seven medical personnel including one woman.
Furthermore, the records that ISIS killed two doctors including one woman, nine female nurses, one Red Crescent volunteer, and one medical personnel while self-management forces killed one doctor. Additionally, armed opposition factions killed two doctors, two nurses, and one medical personnel. Also, the report notes that three doctors, including a woman, and three female nurses have been killed by unidentified groups.

In June 2016, 11 medics and civil defense personnel were killed where eight were killed by government forces and three were killed by unidentified groups.
The report includes the details of the death toll of medics and civil defense personnel in June 2016 as government forces killed one paramedic, six civil defense personnel, and one medical personnel whereas three doctors, including a woman, were killed by unidentified groups.
The report implements high standards for documentation that is based on survivors and families’ direct accounts in addition to the process of verifying and analyzing pictures, video footages, and some medical records. However, the report notes that there are cases that have not been documented light of the ban on SNHR by government forces and some of the other armed groups.

Moreover, the report outlines that the Syrian government has blatantly violated both the international humanitarian law and the customary international humanitarian law; particularly Article 3 of Geneva Conventions and the international humanitarian law and committed crimes that can be openly classified as war crimes when it targeted medical personnel and medical facilities as well as crimes against humanity that manifested in the crime of killing.
The report calls on the Security Council to uphold its legal and moral responsibilities in respect to what happening in Syria instead of only watching the ceaseless and daily bloodbath.
Finally, the report urges international medical organizations to send volunteers to safe areas where wounded are sent for treatment as we have recorded many cases where wounded died due to shortage in medical capabilities

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