Doctors under fire amid ‘Arab Spring’ revolutions
November 29, 2011
As the revolutions collectively known as “the Arab Spring” have rocked the Middle East and North Africa, medical professionals have often been caught in the crossfire. Dictators like Bashar Al-Assad in Syria and the late Moammar Gadhafi in Libya have threatened, imprisoned, tortured and killed doctors who dared treat the protesters and rebels threatening their regimes. In Bahrain, government agents have attacked physicians, medical staff, patients, and unarmed civilians with the use of bird shot, physical beatings, rubber bullets, tear gas, and unidentified chemical agents, and convicted them of trumped up charges. Joining us to discuss doctors under siege in the Arab world, and the pursuit of “medical neutrality” on Capitol Hill and in the United Nations, is RICHARD SOLLOM, deputy director of Physicians for Human Rights, who has led recent investigative expeditions into Bahrain and Libya. We’ll also hear from ADIL SHAMOO, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and senior analyst for Foreign Policy in Focus, who thinks the U.S. medical community should support their colleagues in Bahrain more vigorously.