Including 19 at the Hands of the Syrian and Russian Regimes
SNHR has published its periodic report documenting the violations against medical and civil defense personnel by the conflict parties in Syria for the month of September.
The report notes that government forces have been involved in bombing and targeting medical facilities since 2011 in addition to the other conflict parties that killed and arrested medics and civil defense personnel. All of this indicates a deliberate policy that only aims to shed more blood and deepen the suffering of the wounded civilians and armed men.
Fadel Abdul Ghani, chairman of SNHR, says:
“The Russian attacks on medical centers and medical personnel are considered a blatant violation of the international humanitarian law and constitute war crimes considering the indiscriminate, and in many cases deliberate, targeting of protected objects. All of this have only deepened the suffering of the wounded and injured and is one of the main reasons behind the displacement of the Syrian people as it sends a very clear message: there is no safe area, or a red line, including hospitals, you either flee or perish all.”
The report documents the killing of 23 medics and civil defense personnel in September 2016 where five medical and civil defense personnel were killed by government forces while Russian forces killed 14 medical and civil defense personnel, ISIS killed two, and two others were killed by armed opposition factions.
The report breaks down the details of the victims as government forces killed two pharmacists, one of whom died due to torture, two civil defense personnel, and one medical personnel while Russian forces killed five nurses, six civil defense personnel, and one Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) volunteer, and two medical personnel. Additionally, ISIS killed two doctors, one of whom is a woman, whereas armed opposition killed one doctor and one female SARC volunteer.
The report’s high methodology for documentation relies on survivors and families’ direct accounts in addition to the process of verifying and analyzing pictures, video footages, and some medical records. However, we can’t claim that we have documented all cases in light of the ban on SNHR by government forces and some of the other armed groups.
The report emphasizes 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.
The report calls on the Security Council to uphold its legal and moral responsibilities in respect to what happening in Syria, at least against medical personnel, instead of only watching the ceaseless and daily bloodbath.
Finally, the report urges international organization to send volunteers to safe areas where wounded are sent for treatment as we have recorded many cases where wounded died due to lack of medical capabilities.