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World physicians call for death penalty moratorium

GENEVA, Switzerland – The World Medical Association (WMA) has called for a moratorium on all executions in Iran following the imprisonment of a doctor and his wife, who now face the death penalty for participating in a protester’s funeral.

In a letter to the president of Iran, the WMA say that the couple, Dr Hamid Ghareh Hasanlou and his wife, had been severely beaten, and had been sentenced to death.

WMA President Dr Osahon Enabulele denounced the alarming rate of violence against health personnel in Iran and adds:  The situation is deteriorating critically with massive oppression, killings and the use of the death penalty to defeat popular uprising.

‘We are profoundly shocked to hear that an increasing number of health professionals are threatened, arrested, and tortured in Iran, just because they do their work. According to the ethical rules of our profession, physicians have an obligation to treat those wounded or ill, without any other consideration. Likewise, prisoners must receive the necessary medical care by a health professional, without influence from the authorities.’

Dr Enabulele adds: ‘Standing in solidarity with our Iranian colleagues, we reiterate our demand for safe working conditions for physicians and other health personnel in the pursuit of their mission, as well as full access to health care to all those in need.

‘We call for an immediate and unconditional end of violence and to the establishment of a moratorium on all executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.’



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