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Thursday 20th June 2019

Bahrain charges doctors with murder

3rd May 2011

The government in Bahrain is planning to charge some of the country's doctors with the deaths of two demonstrators, in what human rights groups say is actually part of a broad crackdown on the opposition.


The government has targeted entire villages, opposition activists, workers employed by state-owned companies, and journalists.

The doctors and medical staff being charged with murder aided the mostly Shi'ite protesters, who are opposed to the country's Sunni government.

During protests in March, the government of Bahrain brought in troops from Gulf Arab neighbours in a brutal crackdown that took the lives of at least 13 demonstrators.

Khalid bin Ali al-Khalifa, the Justice Minister of Bahrain, said that 47 of the country's medical staff in total would face prosecution.

Hundreds of people have been arrested by police in Bahrain for asking the government to grant them more political liberties and to stop discriminating against Shi'ites.

Bahrain does not have any private broadcasting companies, and all of its newspapers follow the government line on news events.

During the protests in March, officials in Bahrain said that one of the country's main hospitals had become overrun with political activity.

Human rights groups have accused Bahrain of sending people who posed as medics, and targeting protesters who were already wounded in order to quell the demonstrations.

The country's army stormed hospitals during the protests, and state security forces stole ambulances and posed as doctors.

The authors of the report, published by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), based in Cambridge, Massachussetts, wrote that police forcibly removed ambulance medics and took their uniforms at gunpoint.

The authors said that, after detaining injured people, the police and foreign military men subjected demonstrators to torture, beating, verbal abuse, and threats of rape.

One of the armed men spoke with a Saudi accent, and shouted sectarian insults at the patients and threatened them with death in order to extract confessions.

As part of a broad crackdown, the country also plans to prosecute doctors and nurses for inciting hatred against its political system.


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