Washington DC- Doctors from around the world, organized by the aid agency UOSSM (Union Of Medical Care And Relief Organizations), under the campaign and hashtag #DoctorsInDanger, have united in protest against the targeting of medical facilities and staff in Syria. The petition already has 150,000 signatures and is growing by the day. The medical situation in Syria has hit a new low with over 732 aid workers killed. In September alone, 18 medical facilities were attacked with six attacked within one week in the Idlib province. On September 26, a hospital in Kafr Nabl was hit by three airstrikes causing massive damage and putting it out of service. The hospital provided care to a catchment area of 600,000 people, serving 4,000 patients a month and performing 400 surgical operations a month.
In 2016 , according to the UOSSM Syrian Hospitals Report , there were 1004 direct and indirect attacks on Syrian medical facilities. Some were targeted up to 25 times with an average of three attacks per hospital.
Petitions were sent to state leaders worldwide: Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau, Angela Merkel and Theresa May. The petition demands that state leaders uphold and enforce humanitarian law:
1. The effective implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2286 (2016)**, which prohibits attacks against medical facilities/ staff/ aid workers during war. That the government makes every effort possible to prevent these attacks and holds perpetrators accountable for war crimes.
2. The immediate opening of a safe, impartial, humanitarian corridor for NGOs to deliver essential aid to healthcare workers and care for neglected populations.
UOSSM is optimistic that the campaign can reach it’s target of 300,000 signatures in the next month, and show world leaders that the public will not tolerate these war crimes, or allow their governments to turn a blind eye to them. UOSSM welcomes all aid agencies, medical institutions, the media and the public to campaign on behalf of those without a voice.
Dr. Monzer Yazji, President of UOSSM USA said, ” I have been on countless medical missions inside the war torn country, knowing I may never see my family again. Doctors who I have worked beside are facing bombing and death every day, I have lost too many friends and colleagues that are systematically targeted in this terrible war. This is in direct defiance of UN Resolutions and International Humantarian Law. To lose 732 medical staff in Syria since the beginning of the conflict in Syria is unacceptable and must stop immediately.”
The campaign would not be possible without the tremendous support of:
- Idlib Health Directorate
- Daraa Health Directorate
- Aleppo Health Directorate
- Hama Health Directorate
- Harmoon Centre for Contemporary Studies
- Geroun Media Network
- Lawyers and Doctors For Human Rights
- Syrian Network For Human Rights
- Violation Documentation Centre In Syria
- ASML Syria
- CODSSY Syria
- Syrian Center For Media and Freedom Of Expression
- Mairie Des Paris
- Amnesty International
- Medecins Du Monde
**Resolution 2286 (2016): http://www.un.org/fr/documents/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/2286(2016)&TYPE=&referer=/fr/&Lang=E