A protester burns a picture of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during an anti-regime demonstration in Damascus
AFP is unable to independently verify this image which was taken from YouTube and allegedly shows a protester burning a picture of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during an anti-regime demonstration in Damascus on September 19. Syrian security forces have intensified their crackdown on doctors who treat wounded demonstrators, according to the Local Coordination Committees. © - AFP/YouTube/File
A protester burns a picture of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during an anti-regime demonstration in Damascus
AFP
Last updated: October 17, 2011

Syria targets doctors who treat protesters

Syrian security forces have intensified their crackdown on doctors who treat wounded demonstrators, an activist network spurring protests against the regime of President Bashar-al Assad said on Monday.

"Security forces recently intensified their campaign against doctors, hospitals and private clinics suspected of treating people wounded in pro-freedom rallies," without notifying security services, the Local Coordination Committees said in a statement.

The group said attending physicians are required to immediately notify security services of the arrival of a wounded person, regardless of the severity of his injuries, which invariably leads to the patient's arrest.

The Violations Documenting Centre (VDC), a partner of the activist network, said 250 doctors and pharmacists have been arrested since the anti-regime protest movement erupted mid-March, including 25 in the past few weeks.

The same centre said security forces had conducted sweeping operations in several hospitals, including Al-Fatah in Kafer Batna and Al-Rajaa in Erbeen, near Damascus.

In its latest toll, the Observatory said security forces killed 11 civilians including eight in the central city of Homs, two in the northwestern town of Khan Sheikhun, and one in Zabadani, near Damascus.

Night rallies took place in the northwestern province where protesters denounced the Arab League's decision to hold a "national dialogue" between the Damascus government and a raft of opposition groups in Cairo" within 15 days.

More than 3,000 civilians, including 187 children, have been killed in the brutal crackdown on dissent, according to UN figures,

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