BAHRAIN JAILS DOCTORS October 3, 2011Posted by wmmbb in Human Rights, Middle East, Oil.
As reported by War in Context, Doctors and nurses who provided medical care to protesters from Pearl Square have been given prison sentences of from five to fifteen years in Bahrain.
Associated Press reported via The Washington Post:
The doctors and nurses worked at the state-run Salmaniya Medical Center close to the capital’s Pearl Square, which became the epicenter of Bahrain’s uprising, inspired by other revolts across the Arab world. The authorities saw the hospital’s mostly Shiite staff — some of whom participated in pro-democracy street marches — as protest sympathizers, although the medics claimed they treated all who needed care.
“During the times of unrest in Bahrain, we honored our medical oath to treat the wounded and save lives. And as a result, we are being rewarded with unjust and harsh sentences,” said a statement released by the medics after the court’s ruling.
The group was convicted Thursday on charges that include attempting to topple the Gulf kingdom’s rulers and spreading “fabricated” stories. In a separate trial, the security court sentenced a protester to death for the killing of a police officer during the clashes that began in February.
Al Jazeera interviewed four of the twenty people involved before they were due to go to prison:
While it is not clear what the Bahrain Government hopes to achieve by these imprisonment of medical staff, it is clear that they have no regard for international opinion. The fact these people are Shi-ites will only emphasize and increase the polarization and distance between the government and the governed. The implicit calculation is that the international oil business conducted through Bahrain will be unaffected.
In The Independent, Patrick Cockburn reports on the appalling treatment of Dr Roula al-Saffar. This story has to have some international impact and implications.