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Exclusive: Syrian « doctors » torturing patients


Torture in military hospitals:

One of the doctors poured alcohol on the pubic hair area of a 15-year-old boy, then set him on fire.


Channel4News vidéo: Hospital medical staff torture patients in Homs


Spanish version translated by Siria Libre: Consiguen evidencia en video de médicos torturando a pacientes opositores en Siria.


Jonathan MillerChannel4News: Monday 05 March 2012 Jonathan Miller Foreign Affairs Correspondent

Exclusive: Syrian doctors ‘torturing’ patients

A Syrian employee at the Military Hospital in Homs has provided video evidence that medics are torturing patients, writes Channel 4 News Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jonathan Miller.

A Syrian employee at the Military Hospital in Homs has provided video evidence that medics there are torturing patients.

Chilling video images, covertly filmed by an employee at the hospital, who risked his life to bring to world attention the plight of what he claims are civilian patients there, are to be broadcast on Channel 4 News tonight.

It is the first time such video evidence has emerged. Medical and human rights experts consider the intentional infliction of pain by doctors within the confines of a hospital to be the ultimate desecration of human rights and « a gross breach of medical ethics. »

The grainy footage depicts wards full of wounded men, blindfolded and shackled to their beds. Some bear marks of extreme beating. The apparent instruments of torture – a rubber whip and electrical cable – lie openly on a table in one of the hospital wards (pictured below).

On the orders of the Syrian government, all of those shot or injured in protests in Homs must be brought to the Military Hospital for treatment.

But wounded people should never expect this sort of « treatment »: the hospital employee, claims many are whipped and beaten in their beds – and worse.

The grim evidence of serious abuse begs a question as to where the hundreds of injured civilians from the Homs district of Baba Amr will be taken once the Red Cross finally negotiates for their evacuation.

The employee says he attempted several times to stop what he called « the shameful things » that were happening in the military hospital but was branded a « traitor ». He was interviewed in a safe location.

« 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, » he told « Mani », a French photojournalist, who himself risked his life, smuggling the covert footage out of Syria.

« They perform operations without anaesthetics, » the hospital employee told him.

« I saw them slamming detainees’ heads against walls. They shackle the patients to beds. They deny them water. Others have their penises tied to stop them from urinating. »

Read more: The horror in Homs

The apparent instruments of torture – a rubber whip and electrical cable – lie openly on a table.

The employee says he witnessed abuse by civilian and military surgeons at the hospital and by other medical staff, including male nurses. He has provided the names of all those he claims worked hand-in-glove with Syrian soldiers and the feared mukhabarat secret police.

Sometimes, he says, he heard patients screaming while being kicked or beaten. The abuse took place, he claims, in the hospital’s ambulance section, its prison wards, the X-ray department and even, perversely, in the Intensive Care Unit.

« Sometimes they have to amputate limbs and they go gangrenous because they don’t prescribe anti-biotics, » the hospital employee said.

The footage, filmed at Homs Military Hospital within the past three months, confirms what Syrian victims of such treatment have long claimed, but the Syrian regime has forcefully denied.

When the allegations that state-run hospitals had been turned into torture chambers first began to surface late last year, I was in Damascus. At the Tishreen Military Hospital [… Read more ]


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