Bombing of MSF hospital in Afghanistan must be fully, independently and transparently investigated: hospital union

OTTAWA, Oct. 5, 2015 /CNW/ - The horrific bombing October 3 of a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan that killed twelve staff members and at least 10 patients, including three children and injured 37 people including 19 medical workers must be thoroughly, independently and transparently investigated, the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE said today.

The bombing was protracted and continued long after the staff had reported to the military that they were bombing a hospital. It occurred despite the fact that the coordinates of the hospital had been given repeatedly to the military, and as recently as September 29. It is a war crime to deliberately target a hospital or medical unit.

"Our members have the highest respect for the compassion and integrity of the MSF (Doctors Without Borders) missions in countries like Afghanistan. We are horrified that doctors, nurses, support staff and the patients for whom they were providing medical care were targeted. We strongly support the call for a full, independent and transparent investigation," said Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE.

"We call on the Canadian government, which is a partner in the coalition in Afghanistan, to insist that medical units and hospitals be strictly off limits for bombing missions or other attacks," Hurley said.

The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE represents 30,000 nurses, cleaners, paramedics, trades, food-service, clerical and support staff at hospitals in Ontario.

SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information: Michael Hurley, President, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE: 416-884-0770


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