3 June, 2019

For immediate release

Sixty prominent medics, including Nobel Laureates, demand end to Russian and Syrian airstrikes on medical facilities

Signatories of the open letter include 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Co-Laureate, Dr Denis Mukwege, and dozens of doctors and global health leaders

Full text of letter and signatories can be read here.

Sixty prominent doctors and medical and health professionals have issued a condemnation of Russian and Syrian regime attacks on medical facilities in northwest Syria and appealed for immediate action. The letter, published on Sunday, reads

“As doctors and medical workers and public health professionals from around the world, we condemn the Syrian and Russian governments in the strongest possible terms for their attacks on medical facilities. We stand in solidarity with our Syrian colleagues on the ground who are risking their lives to help those in need. We demand immediate measures to protect their lives and their work.”

Signatories of the letter include Dr Denis Mukwege, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Co-Laureate, Dr Deborah D Ascheim, former Board Chair of Physicians for Human Rights, Professor Peter Acre, Nobel Prize Co-Laureate, Sarah Wollaston, MP and Chair of the Health Select Committee in the House of Commons, Dr Kerem Kinik, the head of the Turkish Red Crescent, and Sir Terence English, a surgeon who led the UK’s first successful heart transplant. Signatories of the letter are from the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, Turkey, China, India, Canada, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon and Morocco.

25 attacks have been launched by the Syrian regime and Russia on medical facilities since the most recent escalation of violence in Idlib began on April 26.  At least 270 civilians have died in recent hostilities. Signatories of the open letter write

“We are appalled by the deliberate and systematic targeting of healthcare facilities and medical staff, which is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. Throughout the Syrian conflict, we have seen both Russia and the Syrian government attack hospitals prior to and during major offensives, their collective aims seeming to be the terrorising of civilians and reducing the ability of medics to treat sick and injured people.”

At least 3.5 million civilians live in northwest Syria. More than 300,000 people have been displaced by the recent escalation in violence.

To read the open letter and view the signatories click here

To be put in touch with signers of the letter, please contact [email protected] or call Bissan Fakih on +961 71 377 364. English and Arabic spokespeople are available.