An immediate and unconditional end to violence against health personnel in Iran has been called for by the World Medical Association.
In an open letter to the President of Iran, the WMA refers to the alarming rate of violence with reports of arrests, ill treatment and at least one physician killed by security forces.
WMA President Dr. Osahon Enabulele writes: ‘Reports indicate that ambulances are used for transporting security forces and people arrested, and physicians are being coerced to falsify medical records and death certificates to cover up violence and torture. We heard as well that in some locations, security personnel had prevented physicians and nurses from treating injured protestors, who were then arrested in the emergency rooms.’
He goes on: ‘We are seriously concerned by these shocking practices impeding the provision of health care for those in need and failing to protect health personnel in the pursuit of their mission, in flagrant violation of fundamental human rights standards, including the right to health and the freedom of expression.
‘We strongly condemn such inappropriate violence by the security forces, arbitrary detentions as well as the misuse of medical facilities for the deliberate purposes of repressing demonstrations.
‘Standing in solidarity with our Iranian colleagues, we demand safe working conditions for physicians and other health personnel in the pursuit of their mission, as well as full access to health care to all those in need.
‘We call for an immediate and unconditional end of violence as well as independent investigations as a step towards pursuing accountability for the most serious crimes under international law committed in Iran.’