Syria Seizing Injured, Dead Protesters: Activists
Reports say abuse is common at hospitals
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2011 6:46 AM CDT
In this image made from amateur video, an injured man is transported by motorcycle in the central city of Hama, Syria.   (AP Photo/APTN)
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(Newser) – Syrian forces are apparently using a brutal new tactic in their push to quell protests: Activists say they are kidnapping injured protesters and even corpses from hospitals, reports the Los Angeles Times. Another two dozen were seized yesterday from hospitals around Damascus, with security forces firing on angry relatives who tried to stop them. Why take corpses? Apparently so families can't hold funerals, which often lead to yet more protests.

The government controls most medical facilities, and reports are rampant of protesters being deprived of care when they arrive or abused by security forces or doctors loyal to the regime of Bashar al-Assad. "People prefer to die rather than go to a hospital," says one demonstrator. The president of the Red Cross will be in Damascus today to speak with Assad about the care of prisoners, notes AP.