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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

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Submitted by Claudia Castro at 03:28 PM on October 2, 2011
I am writing from the United States in support of the Medics from Bahrain. World wide it is understood that doctors will help those who are sick regardless of political ideology. We all want trust that a doctor will treat us. It puts the Bahrain government in a bad light to deal so harshly with these humanitarians. The government can save face world wide by reconsidering and reversing their decision. That Bahrain tortured it's own citizens is really bad.
Submitted by Dr Qasim Omran at 06:11 PM on July 19, 2011
What Bahraini medics is unprecedented in the modern history, we are facing a systematic and well orchestarted actions to demean, degrade, devilise doctors and nurses by evey mean that the government can. We all including the government officials know that these allegations and accusations against the medics are silly, false and groundless, but the message here is so clear: It is a reminder that nothing is of value even if its holiest profession, when it stands against the decision of the one who is in power. The medics of Bahrain by standing to their mission of "human saving and healing" have interfered and intervened in the Bahrain brutal police's mission of "to wound and kill protesters". This interference is unacceptable by the authorities, and so wanted to make it a lesson, implanted deep in the people thinking. They may go too far with torture of medics while in detention, termination of doctors from service, revoking their medical licenses, horrifying those who continue to work, and so on.. These measures must be remembered well so no one ever would dare do it again, such as treating wounded as it is against the police mission of "wound and kill" and against any decision such as blocking the ambulance and paramedics to reach to wounded, and such as communicating with international media to tell them the truth about the conflict as opposed what the government of Bahrain want to tell the world.
Submitted by Jamal Al Dawar at 04:01 PM on July 19, 2011
PHR started strong and as a combined effort with other NGos, 28 physicians have been released. However,they still have bogus charges pending transfer to civil court from the harsh Military court of Bahrain. However, there are still more than 20 healthcare workers and only one female Mrs Roula Al- Saffar, an american trained emergency nursing lecturer and ex-president of Bahrain Nursing Society still suffering in the brutal Bahraini prisons. Torture is still on-going and they are deprived of their basic human rights. They have to be released by all means and all the healthworkers should have all the charges dropped. They have been used and abused in this political uprising. They are innocent collateral damage who got involved because they treated protesters and spoke out when they saw the brutal attacks on unarmed protesters. They spoke out when medical care was not allowed to the injured and were overwhelmed by the injustice. Now, they are victims themselves, the government intends to punish all and even those remotely involved with prison, torture, beating, suspension and job termination, a combination of some or all of these punishments.There is a systematic plan to "cleanse" a term the government always uses as does the national TV of all the "traitors" Shia doctors and replace them with "honorable" Sunni doctors. The international medical and nursing should stand with these doctors. They need your help. They were respectful successful consultants and many apolitical. Their people need them. The poor Shia patients have only one government hospital (Salmaniya Medical Complex)to go to and there is severe staff shortage and many patients are afraid to go. Many land there when it is soo late or very ill. I know that because, I will not go there myself unless I am dying and is taken in a stretcher. I can afford to pay from my pocket for private healthcare but thousands in Bahrain cannot. With the current suspension of 1000 workers in 3 months, we can just imagine how many can not afford private healthcare.