Doctors risk their lives to treat protesters injured in clashes with police

The doctors risking it all to treat Iran’s protesters

By Chris Marsden

BBC News, Dubai

Iranian doctors risked their lives in a desperate attempt to treat demonstrators injured in clashes with police on Saturday. The doctors were among more than 200 medics who were injured in the unrest, which was the largest challenge to the the Islamic republic’s elite authority since it established its political system in the 1980s. Their injuries included broken limbs and lacerations. They were flown to Iran by Russian aircraft and were being treated at the city’s best hospital – which has emergency ward facilities. More than 8,500 protesters have been injured in the 24-hour demonstration, which started in Tehran, the capital, and has spread to almost every corner of the country. As of Saturday evening Iranian television was showing footage of the worst of the injuries: tear-gas canisters bursting on patients, some carrying their own oxygen canisters inside, others with broken limbs, fractures and gashes. “We’re afraid,” said Dr Mehdi Jariati, 50, from the city of Mashad, who said his arm was fractured and badly swollen after being hit by stones. “We will lose our lives if we go out. Everything can go wrong here, everything can go wrong anywhere.” A woman’s shattered hip was the most serious injury suffered by the medics. “It looks like, there are lots of these fractures – one in each arm – but it looks a bit more serious than that. That is the main problem, and it is bad luck as they have two broken legs, so the fracture might have been worse,” said Dr Jariati. The protests began on Thursday against the increase in the price of public transport to pay public workers’ salaries and public employees’ benefits. The protests have quickly grown into a nationwide challenge to the Islamic republic’s leadership, which has sought to bring social cohesion and economic prosperity to the nation. ‘We were afraid of being arrested’

Mohamed Taheri, head of the

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