Alex Hern reports on the Syrian regime of despotic mass-murdering tyrant Bashar al-Assad sinking to a new low in the Arab spring.
The bloody crackdown on protests in Syria has taken an even darker edge in the last week, as the government has begun using hospitals against protesters.
Last week, Newsnight reported on mistreatment of doctors, and the growing involvement of hospitals in the crackdown:
On Fridays the protests still take place after midday prayers, the demonstrators attempt to block off roads and, in a network of makeshift hospitals, doctors who would be arrested and tortured if they were caught treating protesters, prepare for the inevitable casualties.
“At the beginning, we transported the injured with gunshot wounds to the hospitals. To our astonishment, we found that the injured were either arrested or killed,” one of the medics said.
“A man would go in to the hospital with a treatable injury to his hand or to his leg and his family would be summoned to collect a corpse with a shot in the head or the chest.”
But the medical points, which operate under a constant threat of attack and have to move every week to escape detection, are hopelessly inadequate and desperately short of basic supplies such as blood bags, antibiotics, even antiseptic wipes.
“About half the casualties suffer from head or chest wounds and we’re unable to treat them. No one brought to us with a head wound has survived,” the doctor added.
“Well, what we found is that government-run hospitals have become dangerous places for wounded persons. Hospitals have become a tool to identify who is taking part in protests, or who is taking part in other activities that may be seen or may be perceived by the Syrian authorities as hostile or opposed to the authorities.
“It’s not only questioning, what happens is that people who are wounded and arrive to government-run hospitals – we have consistent testimonies indicating that these people, as soon as they arrive to the hospitals, they get beaten up by hospital staff, including mainly nurses, sometimes hospital cleaners and sometimes, on some occasions, even doctors.
“Health professionals loyal to the government – of course not all of them, some health professionals loyal to the government – are misusing their position and are punishing wounded persons rather than treating them, rather than performing their duty by treating them, basically.”
Amnesty have also produced a video to go with their report, which contains graphic images:
It appears there are no depths to which Assad will not sink to in his attempt to not follow Gaddafi and Mubarak’s examples.
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• Libya and Syria: The costs of war – Dominic Browne, June 14th 2011
• Syria, where innocence is no defence – Dominic Browne, June 1st 2011
• Situation deteriorates in Yemen, while tension builds in Syria – Dominic Browne, June 7th 2011
• Look Left – Allies step up pressure for action on Syria as death toll rises – Shamik Das, June 10th 2011
• Syria: Four reasons why Bashar al-Assad will probably survive – Shashank Joshi, May 11th 2011