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Medics on Trial in Bahrain

Bahraini Doctors at Work

PHR began working on behalf of our medical colleagues in Bahrain in 2011, when the Bahraini regime began to wrongfully target and imprison doctors for upholding principles of medical neutrality. By daring to provide medical treatment to Bahraini citizens regardless of political affiliation or creed, dozens of Bahraini physicians became targets of the State.

Though many imprisoned physicians have now been released from jail, two remain wrongfully detained. PHR calls upon Bahrain to release Ibrahim Aldemestani and Dr. Ali Al-Ekri who received lengthy jail terms for trumped up charges. From prison, these two medics, along with a nurse who has completed his sentence, wrote a letter defending their right to uphold the principles of medical neutrality. We support their call, as we recognize that many of the medics released from prison still face systematic discrimination in the country.

The data below tracks the imprisonment of Bahraini physicians since 2011. Initially, two large groups of medics were accused of misdemeanor and felony charges and tried as groups, while four medics were tried individually. Following an international outcry, in-part led by PHR, draconian convictions of up to 15 years for baseless charges were in some cases reduced to months. While some doctors have served their shorter sentences and been released, many have had their medical licenses stripped. Currently, many of these physicians remain barred from employment for unacceptable political or sectarian reasons.

The following health professionals were charged with felonies and are still imprisoned in Bahrain:

  • Dr. Ali Al-Ekri, pediatric orthopedic surgeon — initially sentenced to 15 years, reduced to 5 years
  • Ibrahim Aldemestani — 15 years, reduced to 3 years — charged with both misdemeanor and felony

The following health professional was charged with a felony and served his full sentence:

  • Hassan Salman Al-Maatouq, nurse, Salmaniya Medical Complex — 3 years

The following health professionals were charged with felonies and initially sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison. Some had their sentences reduced and some were eventually acquitted. Those who were tried in absentia did not serve their sentences. Everyone else has been released.

Sentences reduced or sustained:

  • Dr. Ghassan Dhaif, maxillofacial surgeon — initially sentenced to 15 years, reduced to 1 year
  • Dr. Mahmoud Asghar, pediatric surgeon — 15 years, reduced to 6 months, released for time served
  • Dr. Abdulkhaleq Al-Oraibi, rheumatologist —15 years, reduced to 1 month, released for time served
  • Dr. Bassim Dhaif, orthopedic surgeon — 15 years, reduced to 1 month, released for time served
  • Dr. Nader Diwani, pediatrician — 15 years, reduced to 1 month, released for time served
  • Ali Hassan Al-Sadadi — 15 years, tried in absentia
  • Dr. Qassim Mohammed Omran — 15 years, tried in absentia
  • Dr. Saeed Al-Samahiji, ophthalmologist — 10 years, reduced to 1 year
  • Deya Ebrahim Jaffer, nurse — 5 years, reduced to 2 months, released for time served


  • Rula Al-Saffar, Head of Nursing, Salmaniya Medical Complex — initially sentenced to 15 years
  • Sayed Marhoon Al-Wedaie, Director of Paramedics and Ambulances — 15 years
  • Dr. Nada Dhaif, dentist — 15 years
  • Dr. Ahmed Abdulaziz Omran Hassan — initially sentenced to 15 years
  • Dr. Hassan Mohammed Nasser Al-Toblani, head of ICU — 10 years
  • Dr. Zahra Al-Sammak, anesthesia consultant — 5 years
  • Mohammed Faeq Ali Al-Shehab, lab technician — 5 years
  • Dr. Fatima Haji, rheumatologist — 5 years
  • Dr. Najah Khalil, consultant, family physician, Deputy Chief of Medical Services for Primary Health Care — 5 years

In a separate case, individual health professionals were convicted of felonies. They had previously been arrested and released, and then re-arrested. The following served their sentences and as of April 10, 2013, have been released:

  • Younis Ashouri, Administrator, Muharraq Maternity Hospital — sentenced to 3 years
  • Ahmed Almushatat, Pharmacist — 2 years
  • Hassan Alarabi, medical student — 6 months

The following health professionals were charged with misdemeanors. Most were eventually acquitted.

Sentences sustained, but now released:

  • Sayed Adnan Ateya Mohammed, paramedic – sentenced to 3 months, now released

Not sentenced and acquitted prior to March 28, 2013:

  • Dr. Sadiq Abdulla, transplant surgeon
  • Dr. Kulood Al-Durazi, consultant, obstetrician and gynecologist
  • Abdulhussain Ali Ebrahim
  • Ali Ahmed Esa Ghanim
  • Dr. Jaffer Salman Ahmed Hassan

Arrested for about 3 months and acquitted as of March 28, 2013:

  • Ali Said Abdullah, assistant paramedic
  • Ameen Jaffer Abdullah Ahmed, paramedic
  • Dr. Jalila Al-Aali, endocrinologist
  • Hani Al-Aswad, ambulance driver, Salmaniya Medical Complex
  • Dr. Abdullah Mohammed Hassan Al-Durazi
  • Dr. Dunia Al-Hashimi
  • Hassan Ali Al-Saffi, Assistant Paramedic
  • Dr. Kulood Yaqob Al-Sayyad, senior pediatric resident
  • Dr. Nehad Al-Shirawi, ICU consultant (specialist)
  • Hamza Hassan Esa Ali, auxiliary
  • Dr. Abdulshaheed Fadhel, plastic surgeon
  • Mohammed Ali Fateel, Assistant Paramedic
  • Dr. Nabeel Hameed, neurosurgeon
  • Abdulkareem Abdullah Saleh Hassan
  • Ebrahim Hassan Ali Hassan
  • Dheya Abu Idris, nurse
  • Dr. Sadiq Jaffar, pediatric resident, Salmaniya Medical Complex
  • Jameela Abdulhussain Jassim, nurse
  • Dr. Arif Rajab, dental surgeon
  • Addul Ameer Abdullah Salman, assistant paramedic
  • Dr. Nayera Sarhan, consultant, family physician
  • Dr. Nabeel Tammam, ENT surgeon

At least 40 additional health professionals were abducted or detained and released without charge:

  • Mohammed Abbas, ambulance driver, Salmaniya Medical Complex
  • Abeer Abdulaaziz, nurse, Isa City Medical Center
  • Samia Abdulkareem, nurse
  • Yaser Abdulla, paramedic
  • Dr. Eman Al-Eraidh, Al-A’ali Medical Center
  • Dr. Sadiq Al-Aali, Al-A’ali Medical Center
  • Maytham Al-Amir, nurse
  • Dr. Nabeel Al-Asheeri, pediatrics surgeon
  • Ameen Al-Aswad, paramedic, Salmaniya Medical Complex
  • Dr. Fareeda Al-Dalal, Al-A’ali Medical Center
  • Dr. Hisham Al-Ekri, pediatrician
  • Dr. Radhi Al-Ekri
  • Dr. Zakariya Al-Ekri
  • Khatoon S. Hashem Al-Ghani, dental assistant
  • Zahra Sayed Al-Hashem, nurse
  • Dr. Hannan Al-Hawaj, Isa City Medical Center
  • Fadil Al-Mosawai, head of nursing, Isa City Medical Center
  • Nawal Khalil Al-Owainati, Deputy Director of Nursing Services
  • Ghadeer Jassim Al-Sammak, employee, Salmaniya Medical Complex
  • Dr. Jaafar Al-Touq
  • Abdulrasool Ali, nurse, Isa City Medical Center
  • Mohsin Ashoor, ambulance driver
  • Dr. Laila Ashour, Isa City Medical Center
  • Sayed Salih Hashim, administration, Isa City Medical Center
  • Ali Hilal, nurse
  • Dr. Ahmed Jamal, former head of Bahrain Doctors’ Association
  • Dr. Raja Kadhum
  • Dr. Nedhal Kalifa, dermatologist
  • Batool Khadum, nurse, Isa City Medical Center
  • Dr. Majeed Khalaf, Surgical Resident
  • Ali Al Magabi, school nurse
  • Dr. Hussain Makki, pediatrician
  • Dr. Fatima Malalah, Isa City Medical Center
  • Dr. Khalil Matar, consultant, family physician
  • Adnan Mohammed Al-Mosawy, ambulance driver
  • Mahdi Mullah, nurse
  • Sayed Hussein Qamar, nurse, Isa City Medical Center
  • Asma’a Salman, nurse, Isa City Medical Center
  • Jaafar Ahmed Salman, assistant paramedic
  • Yousif Yaqoob Yousif, Salmaniya Medical Complex