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Iran’s doctors are targeted as police seek wounded protesters in hospitals

BMJ 2022; 379 doi: (Published 18 November 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;379:o2785
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Doctors are increasingly finding themselves on the front lines of the protests against Iran’s theocratic regime and its religious morality police as they struggle to treat thousands of injured protesters who fear going to hospitals where police wait to arrest them.

In the most serious incident so far, police opened fire on a doctors’ protest in front of the Tehran Medical Council building on 26 October, wounding several and killing a young surgeon, Parisa Bahmani.

Despite mounting brutality from state security forces that has caused over 300 deaths, about 15 000 arrests, and death sentences against five protesters, the unrest shows no sign of subsiding. Protests are now entering a third month after the killing by morality police of Mahsa Amini, 22, who breached Iran’s strict women’s dress code.

The night of 16 November saw at least 15 people killed across Iran. Police opened fire on demonstrators in the Tehran metro and entered a train where they beat female passengers with clubs.

Doctors take lead role

As in the resistance to the military coup in Myanmar, doctors in Iran have played a prominent role in confronting state power and have paid a price. The current protests …

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