Assad's regime confiscating medical aid

2012-11-07 21:46


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Geneva - President Bashar Assad's regime is confiscating much of the medical aid that the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in Damascus tries to distribute, says a spokesperson for a Syrian medical aid group.

Doctor Tawfik Chamaa, a Syrian doctor in Geneva and spokesperson for the Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organisations, said on Wednesday that as much as "95% of everything that was sent to Syrian Red Crescent headquarters in Damascus went to support the Syrian regime" and was handed out mainly to injured supporters of the government.

He told reporters in Geneva that dozens of medical workers had been killed and more than 600 imprisoned since the conflict began 19 months ago, but the ongoing aid diversion was a silent killer.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent has been virtually the only aid organisation allowed to keep operating in Syria, where its volunteers have been involved in a wide range of aid such as helping to deliver food, setting up mobile health units and providing safe drinking water in schools.

Raefah Makki, a spokesperson in Beirut for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said volunteers with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent were working "sometimes in life-threatening conditions to provide urgent assistance to people affected by the unrest and in need of assistance in the most needed areas with complete impartiality."

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Read more on:    bashar al-assad  |  syria  |  switzerland  |  aid  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings
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