Monday, March 05, 2012

Torture In Syrian Military Hospitals By Doctors

Patients in Syrian military hospitals are allegedly being tortured by those who have sworn to save lives.

The Hippocratic Oath, for those in the medical profession, was replaced (for the most part) with the Declaration of Geneva. The oath declares:

I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due;
I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity;
The health of my patient will be my first consideration;
I will respect the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
I will maintain by all the means in my power, the honor and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
My colleagues will be my sisters and brothers;
I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;
I will maintain the utmost respect for human life;
I will not use my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;
I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honor.

But according to a worker at the military hospital in Homs, doctors aren't trying to save the lives of the many wounded that the government demands are to be brought there, they are actually torturing the men, most of whom are civilians and many not even anti-regime protesters.  They are being blindfolded, chained to their beds and severely beaten. Concerned at their treatment, over several months the employee videotaped some of the patients and handed over the tape to a French photojournalist who was able to smuggle it out. After his pleas to stop the mistreatment were ignored, the worker claims he was labeled a "traitor",  and finally quit.  In an interview with the French journalist "Mani',  he told him

‘I have seen detainees being tortured by electrocution, whipping, beating with batons, and by breaking their legs. They twist the feet until the leg breaks. They perform operations without anaesthetics. I saw them slamming detainees’ heads against walls. Sometimes they have to amputate limbs and they go gangrenous because they don’t prescribe antibiotics,’ he said.

And it wasn't just the military medical personnel that abused the patients, he saw civilian doctors and staff participate as well, and handed over the names of everyone who was complicit in the torture.
This is apparently the first actual evidence of torture that  many have claimed is rampant, but were unable to provide proof of.  'Mani' claims:

‘Ordinary Syrians now consider it too dangerous to go to state-run hospitals if they’re injured. Most opt for hopelessly under-equipped makeshift backstreet clinics.

‘I met a 15-year-old boy who had been shot in the leg by a sniper. His father told me he was too afraid to bring his son to hospital. Even though he was in danger of losing his leg, the boy was treated in his own home by a nurse.’

According to the worker:

Many of those injured, he said, were kept alive so they could be interrogated.
Others were admitted to the hospital simply to revive them between torture sessions. ‘Some of the detainees used to be taken from the hospital to the prison. They’d bring them back either dead or with a brain haemorrhage.
‘The youngest I saw was 14 or 15 years old. Many detainees’ names were removed from emergency admissions lists so that no one would know where they were. There were no names. Just numbers.’

Anything to stay in power.

More photos at DailyMail.UK

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