For Immediate Release
October 30, 2015

bodies dieinNew York, NY – On October 29, the Syrian American Medical Society, Physicians for Human Rights, and Doctors Without Borders held a ‘die-in’ to draw attention to attacks on medical workers in Syria. Over 200 physicians, medical students, and volunteers wore white physicians coats and met on the grounds of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in New York City to highlight the deaths of at least  health workers in Syria and stand in solidarity with the medics who remain in the country risking their lives to save others. 

“Syria is the most dangerous place in the world to be a doctor. Healthcare personnel and medical facilities are deliberately and routinely targeted as a tool of war,” said SAMS President Dr. Ahmad Tarakji.

Healthcare facilities and personnel have been targeted since the start of the conflict. Reports show that in 2015 thus far, 81 medical personnel have been killed. In October alone, 35 patients and medical staff have been killed and 12 hospitals have been targeted. As recently as last week, a SAMS facility in Sarmin, Idlib was attacked in an airstrike that led to the deaths of two medical staff.


“When I am in the hospital, I feel like I am sitting on a bomb. It is only a matter of time until it explodes. It is wrong- a hospital should not be the most dangerous place,” said Dr. Tennari, the director the Sarmin facility in Idlib.
Speakers at the ‘die-in’ included:
  • Dr. Ahmad Tarakji, President, Syrian American Medical Society
  • Dr. Majed, Syrian doctor from East Ghouta and coordinator for United Medical Office of East Ghouta
  • Dr. Zaher Sahloul, Past President, Syrian American Medical Society
  • Dr. Holly Atkinson, Past President, Physicians for Human Rights; Director, Human Rights Program at Mount Sinai
  • Dr. Dean Marchbein, President, Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres USA
  • Dr. Conrad Fisher, the Director of Internal Medicine at Brookdale University Hospital


Dr. Majed Aboali spoke of his colleagues in Syria stating, “I realize that their greatest need is for the rest of us to take action. The people in Syria need to feel that the world is standing with them in solidarity to stop the cruel attacks on their lives.”
For media requests and/or a copy of the speakers’ remarks, please contact SAMS’s Advocacy and Communications Manager Kat Fallon at