Obituary Dr. Jonathan Fine

January 23, 2018

IFHHRO mourns for Dr. Jonathan Fine, who died at age 86 on Wednesday 17 January in his house in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Jonathan Fine had been one of the founders of Physicians for Human Rights in Boston in 1986, and was a very outspoken Director.

He was convinced that medical testimonies of human rights violations were important and pivotal in establishing human rights violations, in bringing the perpretators to court and in rehabilitating the victims.

Fact-finding missions, facilitating forensic investigations of mass murders, and torture cases made Physicians for Human Rights a key player in the international community of human rights organizations.

Co-founder of IFHHRO

Jonathan Fine was also one of the founders of IFHHRO in the late 1980s. Together with the then Chair of the Dutch Johannes Wier Foundation for health and human rights, Dr. Adriaan van Es, Jonathan Fine decided that health-related human rights advocacy should have an international forum. Many organizations joined this initiative, such as Amnesty International, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Physicians for Human Rights in Israel, the UK, and Denmark, the British Medical Association, CEHAT India, the Nationaal Medical Associations of Turkey, Norway, and South Africa, and many others.

Jonathan Fine’s input and inspiration has been crucial for IFHHRO. After he had stepped down from PHR, he always kept a keen interest in our cause. He also was a personal friend and colleague, always focusing on the interests of others, with a keen intuition for strategy and publicity.

Jonathan’s health had deteriorated over the last few years, but he maintained his clear, critical and inquisitive mind to the end.

Further reading: Obituary in the Boston Globe , 22 January 2018, and information about his contribution to Physicians for Human Rights on the website of PHR