UKPMHN statement about Gaza clinicians

UK GOVERNMENT PREVENTS CLINICIANS FROM GAZA ATTENDING UK CONFERENCE

Next weekend (November 14th15th) an academic and clinical conference is to be held at Kingston University, entitled “Trauma and Resilience in the context of Political Violence”. We have just been informed that the British consular authorities have refused permission for four Palestinian clinicians from Gaza to attend:

  • Dr Hasnaa Al Sourani
  • Dr Amal Shaat
  • Dr Rula Al Helo
  • Mr Yousif Abu Rahma

It is beyond our comprehension how such an interference with intellectual and clinical discussion on such an important topic could be justified.

This is a measure that further isolates clinicians from Gaza, already struggling under the impact of military assaults and siege, who need the opportunity to breathe in order to sustain their work.

It has detrimental implications for the treatment of children and families whose suffering under these unconscionable circumstances it is difficult for us to appreciate. 

We urge the UK authorities to reverse this decision immediately, and to resolve to nurture, rather than undermine, urgently needed psycho-social support services for the people of Gaza. 

Signed: The UKMHN Steering Group

Teresa Bailey, Christiane van Duuren, Martin Kemp, Mohammed Mukhaimar, Eliana Pinto, Cathy Troupp, Adrian Worrall