Daily Israel Report

Bahrain Indicts Doctors, Nurses Who Treated Protesters

Bahrain’s Justice Minister is charging doctors, nurses who treated protesters with "attempting to bring down the government"
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 5/5/2011, 6:16 PM / Last Update: 5/5/2011, 6:41 PM

Bahrain’s Justice Minister Shaikh Khaled Bin Ali Al Khalifa on Tuesday said 47 doctors and nurses will be charged with acting against the state in military court, Gulf News reports.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Al Khalifa read the charges against the 23 doctors and the 24 nurses, which include "promoting efforts to bring down the government" and "harming the public by spreading false news."

During the protests that exploded in Bahrain in mid-February, medical personal asserted professional ethics obligated them to treat anyone needing their services and strongly rejected claims by authorities that treating anti-government protesters was akin to supporting their cause.

International rights groups say Bahrain is targeting medical professionals who treated injured demonstrators at the state-run Salmaniya medical center. After Bahrain's military took over the Salmaniya hospital in March, doctors and patients said soldiers and police had conducted interrogations and detentions inside the complex.

US-based Physicians for Human Rights reported last month that at least 32 health care professionals have been detained since Bahrain declared martial law. The report detailed attacks on physicians, medical staff and patients "with weapons, beatings and tear gas."

At least 30 people have died since the protests in Bahrain began in mid February.

Bahrain's parliament has urged the government to extend the emergency laws currently in place for the sake of "security and stability."