ResourcesPress Release

Thursday, 10/29 in New York: Die-In to #DefendDoctors in Syria

Hundreds of Health Professionals to Stage Demonstration Representing Health Workers Killed in Syria

For Immediate Release


Hundreds of health professionals and volunteers will stage a die-in on Thursday, October 29, to represent the medical personnel killed during the Syrian conflict and highlight war crimes being committed through deliberate attacks on Syria’s health care system.

The demonstrators will wear white coats and represent the almost 700 medical personnel who have been killed since the conflict started in March 2011. Representatives from Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) will discuss attacks on health care facilities and individuals in Syria, which constitute war crimes and have exacerbated the humanitarian crisis. In addition to the deaths of nearly 700 health workers, there have been 313 attacks on health facilities through the end of September. More than 90 percent of these attacks have been committed by Syrian government forces. In recent weeks, Russian war planes have also struck several hospitals.

WHAT: Die-in demonstration highlighting attacks on health care in Syria. Follow the #DefendDoctors hashtag on social media.

WHEN: 5 pm ET on Thursday, October 29
*Remarks will begin at 5 pm, and the actual “die-in” will follow.

WHERE: Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, East 47th Street between 1st Ave. and 2nd Ave., New York

WHO: Hundreds of people will join representatives from PHR and SAMS to stage a die-in demonstration. The event will provide a unique photo opportunity, as well as a chance to hear from participants representing health workers killed in Syria.

Leaders from the organizations convening the die-in will speak about attacks on health care in Syria:

  • Dr. Holly Atkinson, Past President, Physicians for Human Rights; Director, Human Rights Program at Mount Sinai
  • Dr. Ahmad Tarakji, President, Syrian American Medical Society, and Dr. Zaher Sahloul, Past President, Syrian American Medical Society
  • Dr. Deane Marchbein, President, Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres USA
  • Dr. Majed, Syrian doctor from East Ghouta and coordinator for United Medical Office of East Ghouta (*Please note, we are using a pseudonym to protect his identity)


For more information:

Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) is a nonpolitical, nonprofit, professional and medical relief organization that works on the front lines of crisis relief in Syria and neighboring countries to alleviate suffering and save lives. SAMS represents hundreds of Syrian American medical professionals across the United States and provides humanitarian and medical assistance to over 1.4 million Syrians each year. To learn more:

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.

Media Contact

Kevin Short

Deputy Director, Media & Communications1.917.679.0110

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