Bahrain frees medics, vows military suit

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Wednesday, 29 June 2011


shiitenews_Bahrain_frees_medics_vows_military_suitThe Bahraini regime has released 20 more medical professionals accused of anti- state activities but vows that they would soon face military trials.

Military trials of 48 doctors and paramedics that were detained during a brutal crackdown on massive Bahraini protests in March are to continue, even though all but 14 of them have now been released, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Relatives of the released defendants said the medical professionals appeared weak but in high spirits.

“He feels good that he's out,” said a relative of one of the released doctors. “He said they used to be treated very badly, but conditions got better in the past few weeks.”

This is while the Saudi-backed Bahraini regime has been pressed by opposition groups to ease up on military trials ahead of a purported national dialogue that has been planned for Saturday. Opposition groups, however, have reportedly boycotted the event, citing continued crackdown on protests and military trials.

The trumped up charges against the medical staff include refusing to help patients, stealing medicine, and holding people hostage, according to the Bahraini regime's Information Affairs Authority. Such accusations contradict accounts by eyewitnesses and human rights groups that insist the medics were in fact detained for treating protesters that were injured by police gunfire or brutal beatings.

Meanwhile, many of the detained doctors have stated that they were tortured into signing confessions while under police custody.

The next hearing session is to be held on July 6.

Since the onset of the Bahraini uprising in February, scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested during the brutal crackdown on popular protests by the Saudi-backed al-Khalifa regime in Manama.

Rights groups have slammed Manama and Riyadh for what they call gross rights violations.


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While welcoming the move, lawyers for the imprisoned doctors and nurses view the release with suspicion.

“I think it's all part of a political move, no more than that," one lawyer said, adding, "We had been requesting their release in court for the last several hearings. Nevertheless, it's good news for them."

Relatives of the released defendants said the medical professionals appeared weak but in high spirits.

“He feels good that he's out,” said a relative of one of the released doctors. “He said they used to be treated very badly, but conditions got better in the past few weeks.”

This is while the Saudi-backed Bahraini regime has been pressed by opposition groups to ease up on military trials ahead of a purported national dialogue that has been planned for Saturday. Opposition groups, however, have reportedly boycotted the event, citing continued crackdown on protests and military trials.

The trumped up charges against the medical staff include refusing to help patients, stealing medicine, and holding people hostage, according to the Bahraini regime's Information Affairs Authority. Such accusations contradict accounts by eyewitnesses and human rights groups that insist the medics were in fact detained for treating protesters that were injured by police gunfire or brutal beatings.

Meanwhile, many of the detained doctors have stated that they were tortured into signing confessions while under police custody.

The next hearing session is to be held on July 6.

Since the onset of the Bahraini uprising in February, scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested during the brutal crackdown on popular protests by the Saudi-backed al-Khalifa regime in Manama.

Rights groups have slammed Manama and Riyadh for what they call gross rights violations.


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