Monday, November 16, 2015

One night in Kunduz, Afghanistan

Laura Gottesdiener is a freelance journalist and a news producer with Democracy Now! The author of A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home, her writing has appeared in Mother Jones, Al Jazeera, Guernica, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and frequently at TomDispatch.

Last month, a hospital run by the MSF was deliberately bombed by the US forces killing many. Laura writes, "MSF’s hospital had been a fixture in Kunduz since August 2011, the only medical facility in the region. A photo snapped a few months after its opening showed a large sign affixed to the front gate of the compound: “The MSF Trauma Centre will prioritize treatment for war-wounded and other seriously injured persons, without regard to their ethnicity or political affiliations, and determined solely by their medical needs. No fee charged.” Above the text was an image of an automatic rifle surrounded by a red circle with two thick lines through it, indicating the hospital’s and the organization’s strict no-weapons policy in its facilities."

"Doctors Without Borders opened the facility two years after it returned to Afghanistan."

"On Friday, October 2nd, staff members from the trauma center in Kunduz, Afghanistan, climbed to the roof of that hospital and laid out two large flags with the name of their organization: Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), the Nobel-Prize-winning medical-humanitarian aid organization best known by its French acronym MSF. This wasn’t something the workers could have done days earlier. The previous Monday, September 28th, Taliban fighters had unexpectedly seized control of the fifth largest city in Afghanistan, as up to 7,000 government troops and police fled. Over the next days, the Afghan government’s efforts to retake the city sparked intense fighting between the Taliban and government troops backed by U.S. Special Operations forces.
As that fighting grew closer to the hospital, stray bullets pierced the ceiling of the intensive care unit and MSF staff were instructed to sleep inside the hospital compound. If any of them left, it was feared, they might be unable to safely return to work the next day."

You can read the full text of her article by clicking here.

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