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Doctors in Syria are being forced to treat patients in secret, charity says

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e1000 (Published 09 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1000
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

The medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has warned that the Syrian regime is using doctors and healthcare facilities as “tools of repression” and doctors are being forced to treat patients clandestinely.

The charity held a press conference in Paris on 8 February where it showed video testimonies of patients who had escaped for treatment to neighbouring Jordan and Lebanon. It says it cannot verify any of the patients’ statements but “given the recurring nature, the consistency and the severity of the acts described” MSF decided to make the testimonies public.

The charity does not have any official presence in Syria but it has made contact with doctors and other healthcare staff in the country to whom it has sent medical supplies.

The conflict in Syria has intensified in recent days and there have been reports of hospitals and clinics being targeted by the military.

The …

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