woensdag, maart 23, 2016

Greece: MSF Ends Activities at Primary Lesvos Transit Camp

— Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has successfully tested 3-D printing and virtual reality technology to design hospitals that better meet the needs of patients.


New York/Athens, March 22, 2016 — The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has decided to suspend its activities linked to the Moria “hotspot” until further notice. Moria is the main camp on the island of Lesvos where all arrivals are identified, registered, and fingerprinted before being relocated or returned to their home countries. The decision follows the EU-Turkey deal announced Friday, which will lead to the forced return of migrants and asylum-seekers from the Greek Island.

“We made the extremely difficult decision to end our activities in Moria because continuing to work inside would make us complicit in a system we consider to be both unfair and inhumane,” said Marie Elisabeth Ingres, MSF head of mission in Greece. “We will not allow our assistance to be instrumentalized for a mass expulsion operation, and we refuse to be part of a system that has no regard for the humanitarian or protection needs of asylum seekers and migrants.”

MSF will close all activities linked to the “hotspot” of Moria, including the transportation of refugees to the center, and the water and sanitation activities and medical clinic inside. MSF will continue to run its transit center in Mantamados, where new arrivals are offered first aid assistance, and its sea rescue activities on the northern beaches of Lesvos. It will also continue to run mobile clinics on the island of Lesvos for those outside of the hotspot location.


Since July 2015, MSF has provided medical consultations, mental health support, distributed relief items, and conducted water and sanitation activities in Moria camp in Lesvos. MSF has carried out 24,314 consultations in the island of Lesvos, including 12,526 in Moria. MSF psychologists have assisted 401 people through individual sessions and have conducted 584 group sessions with 3,532 participants. Teams were also providing temporary shelter and transportation between the North and the registration centers of Moria and Kara Tepe in the South of the island. As of March 13, MSF transported 12,952 new arrivals.

17 - 3 -  2016 

More Than a Dozen U.S. Military Personnel Disciplined for Doctors Without Borders Hospital Bombing
A U.S. military attack on a Doctors Without Borders (also known as Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, on October 3, 2015, was one of the deadliest attacks on civilians in the 15-year war. Forty-two people died in the attack, which Army General John Campbell, who was the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan at the time, called a "tragic but avoidable accident caused primarily by human error." The Associated Press later reported that American analysts knew the hospital was a "protected medical site" but chose to proceed because they believed it was under Taliban control. (Doctors Without Borders adamantly denies this.) Now, according to the AP, more than a dozen military personnel have been "disciplined" for mistakes leading up to the attack.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, officials told the AP that "punishments, which have not been publicly announced, are largely administrative. But in some cases the actions, such as letters of reprimand, are tough enough to effectively end chances for further promotion. The disciplined include both officers and enlisted personnel, but officials said none are generals." Officials added that the disciplinary actions are the result of an investigation into the attack, which was completed on Nov. 15; a report on the investigation, which is some 5,000 pages long, has yet to be publicly released.

But according to an "outline" of the report provided to the AP, the crew of the AC-130 gunship (the military vehicle that attacked the hospital) "had been dispatched to hit a Taliban command center in a different building 450 yards away from the hospital. However, hampered by problems with their targeting sensors, the crew relied on a physical description that led them to begin firing at the hospital even though they saw no hostile activity there." They fired 211 shells at the hospital in less than 30 minutes before realizing their mistake. Officials later admitted they let things get out of hand — one of Campbell's spokespeople called the crew's actions "not appropriate" to the threat they faced.

President Obama apologized for the attack, but even after his apology Doctors Without Borders called it an "attack on the Geneva conventions" and insisted it be labeled a war crime.

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