Human rights experts condemn the death of a Palestinian doctor while in Israeli custody, calling for an independent investigation

Dr. Adnan Al Bursh, 50, head of orthopedics at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, died on April 19, 2024, at Ofer prison, a detention facility in the West Bank. His body has not yet been released by Israeli authorities.

Before he died, he was was said to have been beaten In prison, his body showed signs of torture.

Dr. Al Bursh was detained by Israeli forces along with other doctors and medical staff on December 18, 2023, at Al Awda Hospital in Northern Gaza. At that time, he was generally in good health and was performing his duties normally.

Call for an independent investigation

Tlaleng Mofokeng, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, speak she was “horrified” by the news.

“He was detained while performing his duty to his patients and caring for them in accordance with the oath he took as a doctor… he died trying to defend the right to life,” she said. and the health of our patients.”

Experts emphasize the need for an independent probe.

“Doctor. Adnan’s case raises serious concerns that he died after being tortured by Israeli authorities. His death requires an independent international investigation,” the Special Rapporteur said.

Health care worker safety concerns

Ms. Mofokeng also raised concerns about the safety of medical staff amid Israel’s relentless military campaign in Gaza following brutal attacks by Hamas and other groups in the south. Israel on October 7.

“I am deeply saddened as I continue to receive reports of doctors losing their lives in this conflict,” she said.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza has reported that at least 493 health workers in Gaza have died as of October 7, 2023. This number includes nurses, paramedics, doctors, and other medical staff. other medical. Many others were injured.

United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) reported that at least 214 medical staff were arrested by Israeli forces while on duty.

Doctors should not be killed

“The killing and detention of medical workers is not a legitimate method of warfare. They have a legitimate and essential role in caring for the sick and injured during times of conflict,” Ms. Mofokeng said.

“Medical workers should not be killed while practicing their profession.”

The Special Rapporteur called on Israel to immediately release all medical personnel arbitrarily detained in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, and reiterated his call for an immediate ceasefire.

Independent expert

Appointed by Eastern Human Rights Association – the United Nations’ highest intergovernmental forum on human rights – and is part of it Special proceduresThe Special Rapporteur is tasked with monitoring and assessing the rights situation in certain thematic or country situations.

They work voluntarily – independently of the government and the United Nations, are not employees of the United Nations and do not receive a salary.


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