News+Politics September 29, 2011
Bahrain Medical Workers Sentenced

Earlier today, a Bahrain security court convicted 20 doctors and nurses who treated the wounds of anti-government protestors last March for "incitement to overthrow the regime".

In a move that clearly shows the Sunni monarchy will continue to deal harshly with anyone who had any role in this past spring's unrest in the Gulf kingdom, the court handed out sentences of five to 15 years to the Shiite medical workers from the country's largest public hospital. The charges included: possessing bombs, AK-47s and knives; seizing medical equipment; and provoking sectarian hatred by "spreading fabrications and lies."

A spokesperson for Amnesty International said: "These are simply ludicrous charges against civilian professionals who were working to save lives."

A Middle East correspondent with The Independent who was in Bahrain at the time, Robert Fisk, told Al Jazeera English: "There was no sense of rebellion [among the doctors]...it was a professional sense of, 'how do we treat so many people who have been shot and wounded in a short period of time?'"

Al Jazeera English posted a report in May of this year that includes a chilling interview with a Bahrain medical worker about the psychological abuse and torture she underwent at the hands of security forces. She recounts how police demanded she and other detainees "confess", and forced them to sign documents while blindfolded.


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