2 September 2015,
The Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are dismayed with the incident that happened on 1 September 2015 at Choharba of Siraha district, where a group of people threw stones on an ambulance SA 1 Cha 513 marked with distinct Red Cross emblem that was heading towards Birgunj. Four Red Cross ambulances, as well as a number of ambulances operated by other services providers, have been vandalized in Terai / Madhes in relation with ongoing demonstrations in the past three weeks.
"The NRCS operates its ambulance service from 173 stations throughout the country. They must be able to move unobstructed and securely at all times. The ambulance services being operated by other agencies should receive the same treatment. Any misuse of the Red Cross emblem must be prevented" said Dev Ratna Dhakhwa, Secretary General of the NRCS.
“We are extremely concerned about the consequences of the recent violence,” said Dragana Kojic, the ICRC’s head of delegation in Nepal. “We call on all parties to exercise restraint and urge them to allow ambulance services to carry out their tasks during demonstrations and strikes (bandh).
According to both national and international norms, medical personnel, ambulances and other means of medical transport must be respected and protected, and their work must be facilitated. Efficient delivery of health care and access to it need to be ensured in all circumstances.
The NRCS and the ICRC appeal to all concerned parties on the ground to respect the neutral and impartial work of the Red Cross and the health care and emergency services for the people in need.