Last updated: 17 October, 2011

Syria targets doctors who treat protesters

Syrian security forces have intensified their crackdown on doctors who treat wounded demonstrators, an activist network spurring protests against the regime of President Bashar-al Assad said on Monday.

“Security forces recently intensified their campaign against doctors, hospitals and private clinics suspected of treating people wounded in pro-freedom rallies,” without notifying security services, the Local Coordination Committees said in a statement.

The group said attending physicians are required to immediately notify security services of the arrival of a wounded person, regardless of the severity of his injuries, which invariably leads to the patient’s arrest.

The Violations Documenting Centre (VDC), a partner of the activist network, said 250 doctors and pharmacists have been arrested since the anti-regime protest movement erupted mid-March, including 25 in the past few weeks.

The same centre said security forces had conducted sweeping operations in several hospitals, including Al-Fatah in Kafer Batna and Al-Rajaa in Erbeen, near Damascus.

In its latest toll, the Observatory said security forces killed 11 civilians including eight in the central city of Homs, two in the northwestern town of Khan Sheikhun, and one in Zabadani, near Damascus.

Night rallies took place in the northwestern province where protesters denounced the Arab League’s decision to hold a “national dialogue” between the Damascus government and a raft of opposition groups in Cairo” within 15 days.

More than 3,000 civilians, including 187 children, have been killed in the brutal crackdown on dissent, according to UN figures,