Lebanon’s Health Ministry Is Asking Doctors To Report Wounded Protesters To The Police

Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

The explosion of August 4th terrorized the city and its people. Instead of meeting people with compassion, the Lebanese government has done some questionable things.

It seems to be doing everything in its power to protect itself from its vulnerable citizens. This includes using lethal force against unarmed protesters on August 8th, brutally harming and seriously injuring dozens.

The Health Ministry then said it would hold financial coverage of treatment of those with injuries sustained during protests – injuries that were inflicted on them by parliament police and security forces.

After being pressured by doctors and hospitals that firmly refused to abide by the order, the ministry went back on the decision.

“The Ministry of Health issued an unprecedented statement to hold all financial coverage of treatment granted to injuries caused by protest suppression. This was only reversed after facing pressure by the Lebanese Order of Physicians and hospital administrations,” Dr. Bassam Ossman shared on his Instagram.

Now, it seems the government is trying to oppress injured protesters in another way, by stripping them of their basic rights as patients: the right to feel safe with the doctors at the emergency room and the right of doctor-patient confidentiality.

On August 11th, the Health Ministry issued another circular that stated that every hospital or doctor who treats a patient injured during any protest/”riot” should report the name of the patient to security forces (or else be fined).

In other words, the government, more particularly the health ministry, wants doctors to snitch on the protesters.

It is true that, in countries around the world, hospitals must summon the police when patients with gunshot wounds or wounds from violent attacks enter the emergency room.

The purpose is for the police to investigate and arrest the perpetrators, or in case the wounded is a criminal pursued by the law.

Which isn’t the case here. The civilians protesting for justice are not criminals; unless that’s how the regime wants to now categorize them and treat them as such.

With protesters in Lebanon being shot at and arrested, this order by the health ministry becomes questionable and even inhuman to consider arresting the wounded civilians.

Lawyer and Board Member of Legal Agenda Karim Nammour urged hospitals and doctors not to follow along with this decision.

This circular is working against the protection of the privacy of the protesters and revolutionaries. It would also make it very easy for the government to track them down and detained them.

Given that the Health Ministry previously did not want to financially cover the treatment of injured protesters, it is unlikely that it would put a list of innocent victims to good use.

One gets also to question if the government has issued a similar order for the Lebanese army to report the names of the rogue military officers who brutally attacked the civilians, including the names of the political party thugs that were at their side shooting at protesters with live ammunition.

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