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The Suffering of the Bahraini Medics Must End Immediately

on July 19, 2011

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. Twelve medics still remain in government custody and face an unknown fate. The Bahraini authorities should unconditionally release all detained medics, dismiss all charges and investigate the allegations of torture.

The doctors in custody have allegedly been beaten, blindfolded, forced to confess to crimes they did not commit, and endured humiliation and insults regarding their sects and beliefs. One of the female doctors released said “I spent four weeks in jail because I was doing my job. In detention, they call us by our first name, not Doctor. Furthermore, the male interrogator kept calling me a whore and a daughter of a whore.”

Bahraini medics should not be pawns in a political game. Unfortunately, doctors in Bahrain have found themselves on the front line of political conflict and have become targets of the Bahraini forces. A released female doctor said “I am still in shock; I never expected that I would be arrested and tortured. Now, I know how the victims of the sexual harassment feel because now I am one of them. I lost my job and reputation and I have no support and no treatment.”

Bahraini medics need our help to resume their work and fulfill their ethical duties to treat people in need. The Bahraini government should respect their commitment to international law and release all medical professionals immediately.

Places: Bahrain