Targeting health care in conflict: the need to end impunity
On the morning of May 26, a Russian missile destroyed Dnipropetrovsk City Hospital No 14 in Dnipro, Ukraine, killing at least two people and injuring more than 30. Later that same day, the BBC reported that attacks on medical facilities and staff in Sudan might constitute war crimes. As described in a World Report, such attacks continue in Sudan, including most recently the looting and occupation of centres run by Médecins Sans Frontières, denying Sudanese civilians much needed medical care. From the deliberate targeting of hospitals in Syria and the destruction of the health system in Yemen, to the arrest and abduction of doctors in Myanmar and the persecution of health workers and violations of medical neutrality in Iran, the sanctity of the Red Cross and Red Crescent appears to be at a new low. The uncomfortable truth is that attacks against health facilities and staff in conflicts can be committed largely with legal impunity.
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