Bahrain Security Forces Go After Doctors, Nurses

When demonstrations broke out in Bahrian urging political reform, first the government’ s security forces went after protesters.  Then they went after the doctors, nurses and other health professionals who treated the injured protesters.

Now they’re going after the health professionals who are speaking out against the security forces’ actions.

Even to long-time observers of Middle East human rights issues, the attacks on health professionals to prevent them from treating injured patients is surprising, a sign of the extent to which the governments are willing to respond to the Arab Spring by going after even the most fundamental of rights.

Amnesty International has documented that 47 Bahrain health professionals, all of them Shi’a, have been detained and are likely to face trial before a military court.  Amnesty International believes the health professionals face vague, politically motivated charges and that many of the detainees are being punished for their role during the protests in February and March 2011 when they treated injured protesters and spoke out against the government crackdown. The assault and detention of Bahrain health professionals is being repeated too often throughout this region as governments react to the Arab Spring.

The Bahrain government has limited information on the case, and the names of the detainees have not been made public.  However, Amnesty is aware of the names of more than two dozen doctors who have been detained for several weeks and may be part of those charged.

The prisoners have been denied access to family members and have had limited meetings with attorneys.  They face vague charges, ranging from “embezzlement of public funds” to incitement of hatred toward the government.  Our opinion is that these vague charges are politically motivated, and the prospect of trial before military courts violate general international legal standards.

But most disturbing is that at least several of these health professionals were arrested for doing their job, for doing the thing that they pledged to do as health professionals: caring for the injured.

The charges are just the latest salvo against health professionals in Bahrain.  In February, Amnesty International documented several cases of health professionals being physically attacked by security forces in Manama on Feb. 17.  One doctor told Amnesty International researchers that after being punched by security forces, one guard told him, “If your blood spoils my chair, I will beat you to death.”

The right to medical care is a fundamental human right. Every government has the responsibility to ensure doctors can care for the injured without interference or fear of reprisal.  The Bahrain government has abrogated that responsibility.  Amnesty International is joining the calls of Bahrain human rights activists that the government stop this practice and act to uphold its most basic of obligations.

Take action: Help Health Professionals Held Incommunicado in Bahrain

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18 thoughts on “Bahrain Security Forces Go After Doctors, Nurses

  1. Hey, you all must wake up and smell the coffee! Those doctors in Bahrain have violated human rights to an unspeakable level! Do you know that during those days they used to refuse treatment to Sunnis and expats! A relative of mine died because of this, they refused to pick her up in an ambulance to take her to the hospital, because her name was Aisha (which is a name that is hated by Shiis). And do you know that they used to kidnap expats and unarmed policemen hold them in the Salmania medical complex?
    They are criminals and they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
    And all the medical organizations in the world should speak against them.

  2. Hey, you all must wake up and smell the coffee! Those doctors in Bahrain have violated human rights to an unspeakable level! Do you know that during those days they used to refuse treatment to Sunnis and expats! A relative of mine died because of this, they refused to pick her up in an ambulance to take her to the hospital, because her name was Aisha (which is a name that is hated by Shiis). And do you know that they used to kidnap expats and unarmed policemen hold them in the Salmania medical complex?
    They are criminals and they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
    And all the medical organizations in the world should speak against them.

  3. No one is above the law. Doctors are not above the law. If doctors abuse their positions, break the oaths, and they themselves commit human rights violations, they will be arrested. Simple as that.

    Doctors refused treatment of citizens that weren't protesters, stole ambulances, and converted the hospital into ground zero for protesting.

    No one is above the law.

  4. Bahraini medical staff are criminals because they treated pro-democracy patients!

  5. No one is above the law. Doctors are not above the law. If doctors abuse their positions, break the oaths, and they themselves commit human rights violations, they will be arrested. Simple as that.

    Doctors refused treatment of citizens that weren’t protesters, stole ambulances, and converted the hospital into ground zero for protesting.

    No one is above the law.

  6. Bahraini medical staff are criminals because they treated pro-democracy patients!

  7. The docs working in the hospital are the "criminals" ?

    Then what are the state thugs, uniformed or plainclothed, terrorizing the 70 %Shia majority on the streets ?

    What are the government gangsters raiding Shia houses from 1to 4 in the early morning hours, dragging out, torturing & humiliating the helpless Shia families & women ?

    What are those state goons who demolished the famous Pearl Square Monument & the Shia mosques & shrines ?

    What are th al Khalifa blood sucking "royal" scum who let loose Saudi tanks & troops upon their people ? ? ?

    The doctors were kidnapping policemen ? ? ?

    Can't you find a better lie to tell ?

    The doctors turned hospitals into protest sites, you charge ?

    You mean to say doctors DON'T have the fundamental right to protest your regime's terrorism ?

    What kind of dictatorship are you running there ?

  8. The docs working in the hospital are the “criminals” ?

    Then what are the state thugs, uniformed or plainclothed, terrorizing the 70 %Shia majority on the streets ?

    What are the government gangsters raiding Shia houses from 1to 4 in the early morning hours, dragging out, torturing & humiliating the helpless Shia families & women ?

    What are those state goons who demolished the famous Pearl Square Monument & the Shia mosques & shrines ?

    What are th al Khalifa blood sucking “royal” scum who let loose Saudi tanks & troops upon their people ? ? ?

    The doctors were kidnapping policemen ? ? ?

    Can’t you find a better lie to tell ?

    The doctors turned hospitals into protest sites, you charge ?

    You mean to say doctors DON’T have the fundamental right to protest your regime’s terrorism ?

    What kind of dictatorship are you running there ?

  9. Dear a.savage;
    I feel sorry for you, for you have believed lies and you were fooled. I am really sorry.
    My friend, I am a witness to what I have said and am saying, I was there with them and have seen things with my own eyes. The doctors and medics there are indeed criminals, otherwise how would you explain the kidnapped policemen taken there to the hospital under the supervision of the doctors? What about my relative who died because she is Sunni and those medics played God regarding whom to save and whom to leave?
    The 70% Shia? If they are really 70% wouldn’t they have been able to overthrow the so-called government gangsters and thugs (which is a myth) by sheer numbers?
    And the Shia mosques and shrines, don’t you know that those places are used to brain wash the masses with religion in order for the poor fools to carry on the orders from their religious figures? Religion is the opiates of the masses and this is the best example.
    Bahrain will always remain a civil country where all religions can flourish.
    And a last point, the doctors’ and medics’ crime is not only using the hospital as a protest sites (which is against the law and all human rights), it is abusing their power against innocent people just because those people do not share those doctors and medics faith and believes.

  10. Dear a.savage;
    I feel sorry for you, for you have believed lies and you were fooled. I am really sorry.
    My friend, I am a witness to what I have said and am saying, I was there with them and have seen things with my own eyes. The doctors and medics there are indeed criminals, otherwise how would you explain the kidnapped policemen taken there to the hospital under the supervision of the doctors? What about my relative who died because she is Sunni and those medics played God regarding whom to save and whom to leave?
    The 70% Shia? If they are really 70% wouldn’t they have been able to overthrow the so-called government gangsters and thugs (which is a myth) by sheer numbers?
    And the Shia mosques and shrines, don’t you know that those places are used to brain wash the masses with religion in order for the poor fools to carry on the orders from their religious figures? Religion is the opiates of the masses and this is the best example.
    Bahrain will always remain a civil country where all religions can flourish.
    And a last point, the doctors’ and medics’ crime is not only using the hospital as a protest sites (which is against the law and all human rights), it is abusing their power against innocent people just because those people do not share those doctors and medics faith and believes.

  11. Dear Mr al Mahmood, my dear friend …..

    i am truly sad to hear of the loss of your relative. i share your sorrow, believe me.

    But yes, the Shia are 70 % of the population of Bahrain.

    Then why don't they overthrow the al Khalifa by sheer numbers, you ask ?

    Because they are unarmed.

    Bahrain's such an apartheid system they can't even join the 60, 000 strong army, police & security forces.

    Security force recruits are Pakistanis, Jordanian, Syrians, men from other Sunni countries.

    Plus you have your Kings' Club — the Gulf Cooperation Council that's sent
    1, 500 troops to crush the unarmed Shia.

    & on top of that you have martial law.

    That's why, my friend.

  12. Religion's the opiate of the masses, you say ?

    i heartily agree with you that yes, it so often is.

    But then, why are only Shia mosques, shrines, husseiniyas ( religious houses ), & graves being targetted for desecration, damage, or destruction ?

    & if this is such a fine attempt to crush religious superstition, then why is the bulldozing of Shia mosques being done by hooded state security forces in the middle of the night, in raids on Shia villages ?

    & why are anti – Shia slogans spray painted on the ruins of these mosques ?

    & why have at least 27 Shia mosques been thus destroyed ?

    Is it because these holy sites are gathering points for the Shia people, as is always the case with devout Muslim populations throughout the world ?

  13. & finally, Mr al Mahmood,

    the issue of the doctors again.

    You have said they discriminate against Sunnis.

    Now in Bahrain the health system's staffed & run by Shia.

    Have they been discriminating thus for years, or only since the start of their civil rights movement ?

    Such discrimination would call for measures by civil authorities, & legal prosecutions.

    Then why's it that it's your Army that's entered hospitals & arrested doctors & targetted nurses ?

    & if only the doctors were discriminating , then why has your Army been confiscating patients' medical files ? ? ?

    Or is it that, as all sources concur, the shoe's on the other foot, & the doctors & nurses are targetted precisely for NOT discriminating as to whom they should treat .. that they have indiscrimnately treated & cared for the Shia protesters assaulted by your armed Security forces ?

    & if this is the case, do health professionals have the right to resist the violations of their fundamental rights exactly where they' re occuring, in the hospitals themselves ?

    If you object to hospitals being the venue of protest, then your army should not have gone into them as they did, & provoked it.

  14. Dear Mr Al Mahmood,

    You & i may differ, but your courtesy & move to communicate earn my sincere respect.

    i wish your family & you all the Blessings, & my own very best wishes.

    & unto you peace.

  15. Dear Mr al Mahmood, my dear friend …..

    i am truly sad to hear of the loss of your relative. i share your sorrow, believe me.

    But yes, the Shia are 70 % of the population of Bahrain.

    Then why don’t they overthrow the al Khalifa by sheer numbers, you ask ?

    Because they are unarmed.

    Bahrain’s such an apartheid system they can’t even join the 60, 000 strong army, police & security forces.

    Security force recruits are Pakistanis, Jordanian, Syrians, men from other Sunni countries.

    Plus you have your Kings’ Club — the Gulf Cooperation Council that’s sent
    1, 500 troops to crush the unarmed Shia.

    & on top of that you have martial law.

    That’s why, my friend.

  16. Religion’s the opiate of the masses, you say ?

    i heartily agree with you that yes, it so often is.

    But then, why are only Shia mosques, shrines, husseiniyas ( religious houses ), & graves being targetted for desecration, damage, or destruction ?

    & if this is such a fine attempt to crush religious superstition, then why is the bulldozing of Shia mosques being done by hooded state security forces in the middle of the night, in raids on Shia villages ?

    & why are anti – Shia slogans spray painted on the ruins of these mosques ?

    & why have at least 27 Shia mosques been thus destroyed ?

    Is it because these holy sites are gathering points for the Shia people, as is always the case with devout Muslim populations throughout the world ?

  17. & finally, Mr al Mahmood,

    the issue of the doctors again.

    You have said they discriminate against Sunnis.

    Now in Bahrain the health system’s staffed & run by Shia.

    Have they been discriminating thus for years, or only since the start of their civil rights movement ?

    Such discrimination would call for measures by civil authorities, & legal prosecutions.

    Then why’s it that it’s your Army that’s entered hospitals & arrested doctors & targetted nurses ?

    & if only the doctors were discriminating , then why has your Army been confiscating patients’ medical files ? ? ?

    Or is it that, as all sources concur, the shoe’s on the other foot, & the doctors & nurses are targetted precisely for NOT discriminating as to whom they should treat .. that they have indiscrimnately treated & cared for the Shia protesters assaulted by your armed Security forces ?

    & if this is the case, do health professionals have the right to resist the violations of their fundamental rights exactly where they’ re occuring, in the hospitals themselves ?

    If you object to hospitals being the venue of protest, then your army should not have gone into them as they did, & provoked it.

  18. Dear Mr Al Mahmood,

    You & i may differ, but your courtesy & move to communicate earn my sincere respect.

    i wish your family & you all the Blessings, & my own very best wishes.

    & unto you peace.