Bahraini medics on trial for helping patients

This video says about itself:

22 October 2011

A group of Bahraini doctors and nurses – convicted of trying to overthrow the government – are preparing to appeal their sentences.

In September, a military court sentenced 20 medics to jail terms of up to 15 years, provoking an outcry from human rights groups. Their appeals will be heard in a civilian court, and could lead to a retrial.

The medics deny the charges and say the government wants to punish them for treating protesters injured during Bahrain‘s uprising.

Al Jazeera speaks to Abdulrazzaq Al-Saeidi, from the Physicians for Human Rights.

Bahrain court to hear medics’ appeal: here.

Bahrain: Medics Describe Torture In Detention: here.

World’s unions intervene over Bahrain repression: here.

U.S. Finalizes Arms Deal With Bahrain: here.

USA: Woolsey and Payne Coddle Dictator in Bahrain: here.

9 thoughts on “Bahraini medics on trial for helping patients

  1. Bahraini medics retrial under way in civilian court

    Second trial for 20 hospital staff follows UN criticism of convictions for protest-related charges

    Associated Press

    Sunday 23 October 2011 18.14 BST

    A civilian court on Sunday began the retrial of 20 Bahraini medical staff whose conviction on protest-related charges brought condemnation from international rights groups and UN officials about crackdowns in the Gulf kingdom.

    Officials in Bahrain ordered a new trial this month after sharp international criticism of the verdicts, which were handed down by a special security court and found the doctors and nurses guilty of backing anti-government protests and attempting to overthrow the ruling monarchy. Their sentences ranged from five to 15 years.

    The medics were among hundreds arrested after Bahrain’s majority Shia Muslims began protests in February seeking greater rights from the ruling Sunni regime. At least 35 people have been killed in unrest in the island nation, which is home to the US navy’s Fifth Fleet.

    Prosecutors dropped several lower-level charges in the first civilian court hearing, but the most serious accusations remain. The next session was scheduled for 28 November.

    One defence lawyer, Jalila al-Sayed, said it remained unclear whether the civilian proceedings would allow new witnesses and evidence, and whether the previous convictions had been formally overturned. The doctors and nurses remained free, but were banned from leaving the country.

    They worked at the state-run Salmaniya medical centre close to the capital’s Pearl Square, which became the focus of Bahrain’s uprising that was inspired by other revolts across the Arab world and Middle East. The authorities saw the hospital’s mostly Shia staff – some of whom participated in street marches – as protest sympathisers, although the medics claimed they treated all who needed care.

    Shia Muslims represent about 70% of Bahrain’s population, but claim they face systematic discrimination such as being barred from top government and security positions. Bahrain’s Sunni rulers say they are willing to make reforms, although not as far-reaching as protesters demand, such as ending the monarchy’s ability to select the government and set state policies.

    The sentences brought sharp criticism from rights groups and statements of concern from the office of UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon and the UN human rights office.


  2. Lawyer: Canadian among Bahrain unrest convictions

    updated 10/25/2011 9:25:47 AM ET

    MANAMA, Bahrain — A defense lawyer in Bahrain says 13 people, including a Kuwaiti-born Canadian, have been sentenced to jail terms for links to anti-government protests and unrest in the Gulf kingdom.

    Lawyer Mohsen al-Alawi says a civilian court Tuesday sentenced Canadian Nasser al-Ras to five years in prison on charges stemming from the Shiite-led demonstrations for greater rights from the ruling Sunni monarchy.

    Al-Alawi also says lesser jail terms were handed to the son and son-in-law of prominent rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, a dual Bahraini-Danish citizen who has been sentenced to life in prison.

    Bahrain’s authorities have made hundreds of arrests since protests began in February inspired by other Arab uprisings.

    Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


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