S R I L A N K A C A M P A I G N
Sri Lankan Medical Association

Persecuting the Witnesses

September 16, 2009 Sri Lanka Campaign Comments Off

Three government-employed physicians treated thousands of injured and dying patients during the final stages of Sri Lanka’s war, despite the risk to their own lives.

Doctors Sathiyamoorthy, Shanmugarajah and Varatharajah coordinated with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to evacuate 14,000 patients from the war zone between mid-February and May 9, 2009. They communicated the humanitarian situation to the world at a time when journalists were barred from the conflict zone. During the final hours of the war on May 15, the three made their way to an army crossing point along with 5,000 civilians where they were detained by Sri Lankan authorities.

On August 24, after three months in detention without charge, the Sri Lankan authorities yielded to growing international pressure and conditionally released the doctors on bail. Doctors Sathiyamoorthy, Shanmugarajah and Varatharajah are due to appear in court on November 9 for allegedly providing “false information” to the international community about civilian deaths.

Their lives remain in danger, more so now that they are vulnerable to threat, harm, and disappearance. They have evidence that makes the Government of Sri Lanka anxious. After some weeks of interrogation, the doctors said they had been wrong and gave a new figure for the casualties which was less than the UN estimate!

For more information, please refer to the following:

Confined Sri Lankan Doctors Acted in Accordance with Medical Ethics
https://web.archive.org/web/20100629172622/http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/library/news-2009-08-25.html

Amnesty International USA – Urgent Appeal
https://web.archive.org/web/20090624165216/http://www.amnestyusa.org/actioncenter/actions/uaa12909.pdf

Save The Doctors Campaign – a campaign dedicated to protecting these 3 doctors
https://web.archive.org/web/20100920220656/http://www.savethedoctors.com/

PLEASE BRING THIS CAMPAIGN TO THE ATTENTION OF ALL BUT ESPECIALLY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS

 

Doctors Sathiyamoorthy, Shanmugarajah and Varatharajah, public domain, via
SaveTheDoctors campaign