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- Near verbatim transcript of the press stakeout by Ghassan Salame, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, 28 February 2020
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Since the beginning of the offensive on Tripoli in early April, more than 37 attacks have been registered against health workers and facilities, including hospitals, field hospitals and civilian and military ambulances. These deplorable attacks which impacted at least 19 ambulances and 19 hospitals, have resulted in 11 deaths, and injuries to more than 33 persons, although the actual number may be significantly higher.
In late July, airstrikes conducted by the Libyan National Army targeted two field hospitals and two ambulances, killing at least four doctors and one paramedic and injuring at least eight other medical personnel. Despite repeated wide-ranging condemnation and with blatant disregard to international humanitarian norms and conventions, these merciless attacks have continued, where two precision airstrikes targeted yesterday a field hospital in Aziziya neighbourhood, reportedly injuring at least four medical staff.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya Ghassan Salame condemns in the strongest terms this clear pattern of ruthless attacks against health workers and facilities. Intentionally targeting health workers and health facilities and ambulances is a war crime, and when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attacks directed against any civilian population, may constitute a crime against humanity, the Special Representative reiterates. We will not stand idly by and watch doctors and paramedics targeted daily while risking their lives to save others. We will spare no efforts to ensure that those responsible will face justice, he added.
International humanitarian law strictly prohibits attacks against hospitals and other medical facilities, medical personnel and medical transport.
Source: UN Support Mission in Libya