PORT-AU-PRINCE – Armed men broke into the Médecins Sans Frontières-supported Raoul Pierre-Louis public hospital in Carrefour, a district west of Port-au-Prince in Haiti, on Thursday, January 26. The men dragged the patient out of the emergency room and killed him outside the hospital. This is the first time in six months that a similar accident has occurred at this hospital. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has had no choice but to suspend its activities in hospitals.
On Thursday afternoon, three armed, masked men stormed the hospital’s emergency room and took a patient lying on a stretcher who had been hospitalized with a gunshot wound. They violently dragged him out of the hospital and executed him with a bullet in his head about 10 meters outside the hospital grounds.
“This is the second time an incident of this kind has happened in this hospital,” said Benoît Vasseur, MSF’s mission director in Haiti, referring to the August 14, 2022, incident. This violates all humanitarian principles and the protections this patient should have within a healthcare facility. “
“This is the second time an incident of this kind has occurred at this hospital…We will suspend operations unless we can guarantee the safety of our staff and patients.”
Benoît Vasseur, Head of MSF Operations in Haiti
“In the face of this unacceptable level of violence, we have no choice but to temporarily suspend all activities at Raoul Pierre-Louis Hospital,” said Vasseur. “We will suspend activities until we can ensure the safety of our staff and patients.”
MSF has been working in Haiti for more than 30 years, providing healthcare to the most vulnerable communities. MSF asks patients, staff, medical facilities, ambulances and anyone with a weapon to respect our medical work.
The incident occurred on a day of protests and riots in the capital city of Port-au-Prince and several areas around it. Within hours, six of his people with gunshot wounds were taken to the MSF emergency center in Tolgo. Among them was a high school student who was already dead on arrival. In this situation, safe access to emergency medical care must be respected more than ever.