Doctors' Group: Syrian Forces Commandeer Hospitals

Wounded can't get proper care, says international agency
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 8, 2012 4:49 PM CST
A Syrian rebel runs for cover during an exchange of fire with army troops in Idlib, Syria, Wednesday.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Many Syrian civilians who have been wounded in their country's violence are unable to get adequate medical treatment—in part because security forces have taken over many public hospitals, an international aid group said today. Doctors Without Borders released a video in Paris showing interviews with 10 wounded Syrians and five Syrian doctors who have fled the nation. The group said it was making the testimony public because of the "recurrence and the gravity" of the accounts in several regions of Syria.

The unidentified witnesses said many wounded are afraid to go to such hospitals for treatment, knowing that Syrian authorities could arrest them and subject them to interrogation or torture. Instead, some get whatever treatment they can in private clinics or makeshift hospitals in homes. Most accounts describe public hospitals as a No. 1 place to avoid, because security forces surround them and sometimes are inside. "We've seen different types of injuries, notably contusions from being hit, fatal electric shocks," one doctor said. "One person was electrocuted in the mouth until he died. I saw that." (Read more Syria stories.)

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