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Palestinian health professionals must be allowed to travel - Sheehan

13 November, 2015 - by Pat Sheehan

Sinn Féin MLA and spokesperson on the Middle East, Pat Sheehan, has slammed the British governments refusal to allow several medical practitioners from the Palestine to enter Britain to attend an international conference at Kingston University on trauma in war zones.

Speaking today Mr Sheehan said:

“The refusal to grant visa’s to several medical practitioners including three doctors and a nurse who work for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, along with a psychologist from Bethlehem, allowing them entry to Britain needs to be overturned immediately.

“The decision to stop these mental health professionals from traveling is a partisan one. The British government has allowed for visas from representatives from Israel but disallowed those from Gaza or the West Bank.

“Rightly so the organisers and other groups have protested strongly.

“In 2014 the bombardment of Gaza by Israel over 2,200 people were killed and 10,000 wounded. The effects of this are of course still being felt today and medical practitioners operating in the abject conditions in Gaza treating war trauma have the most relevant experience to share.

“Amnesty International among others have highlighted the direct targeting of medical staff by the Israeli forces.

“On a daily basis Israel impedes the movement of Palestinians including medical professionals. It is evident now that the British authorities are complicit in this too.

"They must immediately overturn this decision and allow the Palestinian delegation attend this conference.”

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