Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bahrain medical staff sentenced over protests

Thirteen doctors and nurses who treated anti-government protesters given 15-year jail terms for crimes against state.


"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.

Seven other medical professionals were given sentences of between five and 10 years by a special tribunal that was set up during the emergency rule that followed the demonstrations.

Most of the medics worked at the Salmaniya Medical Centre in Manama, which was stormed by security forces after they drove protesters on March 16 out of the nearby Pearl Square - the focal point of Bahrain's protest movement.

The Bahrain News Agency said that the medics were tried for "forcefully occupying Salmaniya Medical Centre... possessing unlicensed arms (AK-47s) and knives, incitement to overthrow the regime, seizing medical equipment, detaining policemen, and spreading false news".

They were also accused of "inciting hatred to the regime and insulting it, instigating hatred against another sect and obstructing the implementation of law, destroying public property and taking part in gatherings aimed at jeopardising the general security and committing crimes," BNA said.

"All these acts were done with a terrorist aim [Treating wounded peaceful protesters is terrorism; makes sense to me!]."

The doctors have repeatedly denied the charges, which they say were cooked up by the authorities to punish medical staff for treating people who took part in anti-government protests......"

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