Syrian Hospitals Torturing Protesters: Amnesty

Amnesty International says security forces running free in state-run facilities
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2011 10:46 AM CDT
Syrian Hospitals Torturing Protesters: Amnesty
A hospital staffer treats a man allegedly injured when an armed group seized rooftops in some districts of the Northern city of Latakia, March 27, 2011.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Wounded Syrian protesters would be well-advised to avoid state-run hospitals—because security forces and medical staff are torturing people within them, Amnesty International alleges in a new report. “Syrian authorities seem to have given the security forces a free rein in hospitals,” one Amnesty researcher said, according to the Guardian. “In many cases hospital staff appear to have taken part in the torture and ill treatment of the very people they are supposed to care for.”

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Those hospital workers who have actually treated protesters have themselves been arrested and tortured. These abuses are taking place in at least four hospitals; the report identifies two in Homs, one in Banias, and one in Tel Kelakh. One witness in the Tel Kelakh emergency room says he saw a man wheeled in surrounded by seven or eight security personnel and nurses. “He opened his eyes and said, ‘Where am I?’ They all suddenly jumped on him and started beating him,” he recalls. (China, meanwhile, is sending an envoy to Syria this week.)

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