Over the last month, the Bahraini police have been using tear gas almost every night against protesters in residential areas. Specifically, the police have been targeting the Shi’a neighborhoods of Iker, Sitra, Nuwadrat, and Ma’ameer. While there are international guidelines for the proper use of tear gas, victims of such attacks describe the police using tear gas inappropriately – including firing into homes and other closed spaces. Such inappropriate use can have disastrous consequences. Since the start of the unrest in February 2011, at least 13 civilians have died from exposure to the tear gas, according to Bahraini civil society groups. They note that those who die from tear gas inhalation are usually people who are already vulnerable due to old age or disease, which make the gas’s effects more deadly.
Last week, Bahraini authorities wrongfully detained human rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja, while she engaged in nonviolent, peaceful protest against Bahraini government policies last week. As this video shows, Zainab was dragged away by law enforcement officers who, according to Amnesty International allegedly beat her outside the view of cameras before taking her into custody against her will.
See UPDATE to this May 2011 post. Ireland’s leading medical institution, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), which has trained many Bahraini physicians, has been conspicuously absent in the global call for the Kingdom of Bahrain to stop its relentless and systematic attack on medical workers.
Bahraini authorities released medic Rula Al-Saffar on 21 August following five months of arbitrary detention. Her release comes shortly after her three-week hunger strike to protest her arbitrary arrest and subsequent torture while in detention at the hands of Bahraini authorities.
This weekend, another Bahraini doctor was arrested in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. This detention continues the injustice that has plagued Bahrain’s medical professionals since the unrest started in February.