Arab Spring: Doctors Tortured in Bahrain
Authorities who crushed the Gulf’s main uprising arrested and abused many Shiite doctors who treated the wounded.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/11/2011, 8:50 AM / Last Update: 7/11/2011, 9:03 AM
Bahrain’s authorities victimized Shi'ite hospital personnel as part of the crackdown on the Arab Spring uprising there, according to an Associated Press report.
A surgeon from Bahrain's main state-run hospital told of more than two months in a Bahrain prison that included daily abuses such as beatings with a rubber hose. At night, the prisoners were blindfolded and dragged into a corridor to lie on the cold floor.
There are many such claims of rights violations that took place as Western-backed authorities crushed the Gulf's main Arab Spring uprising.
"They insulted us as `Shiite traitors,'" the doctor told AP. "They kept saying we were ungrateful to the (Sunni) king and what he did for us. 'You don't deserve to stay in Bahrain,' they said." Bahrain's monarchy is Sunni and the majority of the population is Shiite.
The state hospital was flooded with injured protesters during the February rioting and authorities conducted arrest sweeps in the wards. The hospital staff, too, came under suspicion of collaboration with the injured protesters. All together, 48 Shiite doctors and nurses still face a range of charges from supporting the protests to trying to overthrow the state.
With encouragement from the U.S., Bahrain’s leadership is holding reconciliation talks with the opposition.