The international medical charity Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) is indefinitely suspending work at an emergency medical centre in Port-au-Prince, after an armed group pulled a critically ill patient from an ambulance and shot him dead in the street.
“We need a minimum of safety to carry out our medical mission. We can’t work if our medical mission is threatened by violence,” Benoit Vasseur, MSF’s head of mission in Haiti, said in a statement on Friday.
MSF is one of the few remaining international organisations delivering medical care in the capital, which is largely controlled by powerful gangs that have forced nearly 200,000 people from their homes, with many reporting houses burned down, arbitrary murders, kidnappings and gang rapes.
The attack took place on Tuesday when an MSF ambulance convoy was leaving the medical centre in the area of Turgeau, in central Port-au-Prince, for patient transfers.
“They beat on the hood of the ambulance and fired shots in the air. They looked inside the first ambulance and ordered the second ambulance to return to the Emergency Centre.
They took the patient out of the first ambulance by force. They then beat him and shot him several times. When he was dead, they fled the scene,” MSF said in its statement.