Doctors want World Medical Association President gone

Letter of protest written over Yoam Blachar’s appointment

Over 700 doctors from around the world have signed a letter calling for the removal of Dr. Yoram Blachar, president of the World Medical Association (WMA). The signatories allege that he knew about and failed to stop the involvement of medical staff in torturing Israeli prisoners as far back as 1996, when he was head of the Israeli Medical Association. The letter cites reports from Amnesty International and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, both of which say Blachar played a part in the torture of prisoners. Blachar calls the charges “imaginary allegations which have no grounds whatsoever.” But the letters’ signatories say the WMA loses all credibility with Blachar at its head. The WMA was founded in 1947 as a reaction against the abuses of doctors in Germany and Japan during WWII. In 1975 it adopted the Declaration of Tokyo, which states “physicians shall not countenance, condone or participate in the practice of torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading procedures, and in all situations, including armed conflict and civil conflict.”

The Guardian

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