12/10/15

Solidarity with victims US-air strikes on MSF-hospital

The People's Health Movement expresses its deepest solidarity with the victims of the US bombing on October 3rd on the hospital of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Kunduz, Afghanistan.
PHM says: Attacking a health institute is an aggravating factor that can neither be tolerated nor can go unpunished

Like everyone else, we were stunned when we heard the news that the hospital of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was the target of severe air-strikes. In the night from Friday to Saturday, 22 people died (among them 12 staff members of MSF and 10 patients, 3 of which were children) at this site in the North of Afghanistan, plagued for days by intense fighting between the Taliban and the regular Afghan army. The NATO-coalition, and more particularly the US military, has already admitted responsibility for the massacre. The air-strikes took place despite the fact that MSF had provided the exact location of its hospital to all parties involved, as is routine practice for their work in conflict areas.

The People's Health Movement condemns in the strongest possible terms what we can only describe as a war crime. This is confirmed by the report of MSF: “The bombing took place despite the fact that MSF had provided the GPS coordinates of the trauma hospital to Coalition and Afghan military and civilian officials as recently as Tuesday, September 29, to avoid that the hospital be hit. As is routine practice for MSF in conflict areas, MSF had communicated the exact location of the hospital to all parties to the conflict.” (MSF)

The deliberate bombing of civilians violates all international conventions. Attacking a health institute is an aggravating factor that can neither be tolerated nor can go unpunished. An independent investigation should be conducted and should lead to penalties for those responsible.

This horrible event allows us to repeat that the People's Health Movement opposes foreign military interventions, as they only increase the number of victims, without contributing to any solution. We believe that efforts should go to local political solutions instead of militarily intervention.

We sympathize with the families of the victims and the staff of MSF and send them our sincere condolences.

Further information on PHM and our programmes can be found on our website www.phmovement.org

Kind regards

Bridget Lloyd
on behalf of People's Health Movement (PHM) Steering Council

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