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Thursday, September 29th 2011

To Care For All

Medical professionals in Bahrain are being sentenced for treating wounded protesters during this years unrest.

Thirteen doctors and nurses who treated anti-government protesters during demonstrations in Bahrain earlier this year have been jailed for 15 years for crimes against the state.

The Physicians and Nurses Faced A Military Tribunal.

Their seems to be a systemic nature and focus on denying those who opposed the government healthcare services in Bahrain. Intimidation forced many medical NGOs, including Doctors Without Borders, out of the country during the unrest.

[W]hat human rights activists call a particularly odious aspect of the Bahraini protests: the government’s systematic effort to deny medical services to wounded protesters — partly by jailing or intimidating the doctors, nurses and paramedics who have tried to treat them.

Many medical workers in Bahrain are often too frightened to help protesters, activists say, and the wounded themselves are often too frightened to seek help, fearing they will be arrested.

At the height of the protests, led by the kingdom’s Shiite majority, seeking more rights from the Sunni monarchy, security forces commandeered the Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain’s largest public hospital. Dozens of doctors and nurses who treated protesters were arrested.

In a report last month, Human Rights Watch said the crackdown included “attacks on health care providers; denial of medical access to protesters injured by security forces; the siege of hospitals and health centers; and the detention, ill-treatment, torture and prosecution of medics and patients with protest-related injuries.” It called the attacks “part of an official policy of retribution against Bahrainis who supported pro-democracy protests.”