carnegie logo

Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
Israel, the Arab world and beyond

« Previous | Babylon & Beyond Home | Next »

BAHRAIN: Medical staff face prosecution, alleged torture after aiding anti-government protesters

Nearly 50 doctors, nurses and other medical staff have been detained in Bahrain in connection with treating anti-government protesters, human-rights officials said Wednesday.

Those detained included 24 doctors and 23 nurses and paramedics, according to Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights.

“All of them were held somewhere nobody knows — we think they are in a military base,” Rajab said. "Reports we are receiving say that almost all of them were tortured.”

Fareeda Dallal, a medical professional married to a doctor who also was detained, appeared on Al Jazeera satellite network Tuesday with a black eye to say she had been harassed by her captors and forced to dance for them.

"They beat me with a hose, a big hose, on the arms and the legs. They kicked me on the back, mostly slaps on the back," she said. "They were humiliating us verbally with a lot of improper words like 'dirty Shia,' like 'whore,' that we are worthless, we can't think, we are not loyal, that we do not deserve to wear our uniform."

On Tuesday, the leader of the Persian Gulf nation’s medical society was arrested, and the leader of the dental society was also in government custody, Rajab said.

“Most of the respected doctors are behind bars today, all suspended from their work. People are getting treated mostly at home now because the main hospitals are being occupied by the military,” he said. "Nobody goes to the hospital now, even those people who have been shot and have bullets inside their body. They are afraid to be arrested and tortured there.”

At a press conference on Tuesday, Bahrain's justice minister read the charges against the medical staff, including incitement to the forceful overthrow of a political regime, dissemination of false news and malicious rumors that could harm public interest and participation in unauthorized rallies and meetings, according to the Bahrain News Agency.

Rajab said Bahrain’s security forces are clearly lashing out at medical staff for exposing the toll of the violent suppression on the populace by Bahrain's king, Sheik Hamed ibn Isa Khalifa, documenting the number of dead and injured for the international press.

“This is the punishment for them for treating the wounded people,” Rajab said.

But he said the government detentions and repression that followed the February protests in Manama’s Pearl Square have not been limited to medical personnel.

“After the crackdown, the government targeted every group of people who supported the uprising — they targeted teachers, politicians, academics, students — all of them were targeted group by group,” Rajab said. “Many thousands of people were terminated from their jobs, their houses being raided, their money stolen, including doctors.”

Rajab called on President Obama to demand the prisoners’ release. Obama spoke with King Hamed by phone Sunday to urge leniency for four protesters sentenced to death last week in connection with the killing of two police officers during the protests.

“The international community should intervene. We see silence form the United States. There is no strong condemnation of what is going on,” he said.

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Cairo

Photo: Bahrain's acting health minister, Fatima al-Balooshi, left, and Justice Minister Khaled ibn Ali Al Khalifa hold a press conference in Isa Town, Bahrain, on May 3, 2011. Bahrain's justice minister said several doctors and nurses who treated injured anti-government protesters during months of unrest in the Persian Gulf kingdom will be tried in a military court. Credit: Hasan Jamali /Associated Press


Comments () | Archives (16)

Boy, it's a good thing the members of Royal Family of Bahrain are our friends!

In all the countries worldwide, the punishment for being involved in traitorous activities like coups, revolts, mutinies etc., is the same.

What is going on in Bahrain is really crimes against humanity, many wounded protesters are prisoned, and doctors who treated them are prisoned too. I didn't see it in any elsewhere of my life, no country punish doctors for treating demonstrators, this reflect the mentality of rulers of Bahrain, which is unfortunately considered by US administration as Strategic Non-NATO ally.
President Obama should denounce this genocide, instead of closing a blind eye.

@Gabriel.......... Many of us here were wondering what these reporters of the international media actually reported to the world during the revolt. We even went looking to see the truth for ourselves. From all first hand reports most the reports were just sensationalised and told to the audience with a specific agenda in mind. No wonder we are so confident calling these reporter liars openly.

Give me all those reports and we could punch huge holes into it and we will open your eyes. See my links in the post below & compare with the one this reporter has written. See my drift?

this goverment is really brutal .... we dont shocked by their attitude .. the real shock came from west stand .. speacially US and UK .. they are standing cleary on the same level of Bahrain goverment to crackdown the protets .. shame on them !!

The Medical staff detained on charges that you failed to mention in your article, you clearly don’t know exactly what these people did, thinking that they were detained because of them helping those terrorists. The so called medical staff took over the hospital and prevented people from gaining access to treatment unless they were Shia, they used the hospital as a big torture chamber and held people against their well, the leader Dr. AlAckree (that’s if can be called a doctor) performed operations on wounded terrorists just to magnify their injuries so they can be photographed and filmed for the world media, in one case one of these so called pro-democracy protesters (in actual just another terrorist) suffered a head injury and was Dead on arrival, had his head opened up, and the top part of his skull and brain removed, he was filmed this way to show the brutality of the security forces, but he over did it as now one can sustain an injury like that from a shoot gun or a rubber bullet, unless he was hit with a large caliber round(50 or 20 mm, or may be a result of a bomb detonation). This so called medical staffs have made one of the rooms as a torture chamber to extract information from policemen, who were caught by the terrorists, and they actually had a prison within the Hospital facilities to detain people, where they were kept chained to the wall at all time.
Now for Nabeel Rajab who make statements to the world media under the cover of human rights and considered as a reliable source, well he used his mother photo being on a respirator to help her breath after being subjected to teargas and as he claim poisons gases, its true, his mother needs that as she cant breather on her own, she is suffering from Lung cancer in its late stages, what kind of man who will do something this law just to gain world sympathy and support, the questions that should be asked are, Is he a human rights activist, or a spokesman for theses terrorists? Why he doesn’t mention the rights for a75 year old man who was stabbed to death by these terrorists?
He calls on President Obama to intervene and stop what’s happening in Bahrain, who gave him that right? Or May be he wants the US to help them take over the country and hand it over to Iran as they did in Iraq.
It seems whatever these people say is taken to be the truth, and when the Government present facts and evidence it’s taken as being fabricated
To be fair you need to seek the real facts about what’s happening in Bahrain, and don’t be deceived by what these people say, for a whole month the people of Bahrain were terrorized by these so called pro-democracy protesters, wake up and open your eyes and see the truth, and if you cant do that then you better stay away from Bahrain.

V_koshy - I wouldn't use the gulf daily news for toilet paper. It's the most ridiculous excuse of a medium I've ever seen in my life and it is pure propagandist poppycock. How is it acceptable in this day and age for such things to still be circulated?

The U.S. has it's fifth naval fleet in Bahrain, therefore they will remain silent on the issue of Bahrain, because the interests of their fleet outweigh anything. I don't the U.S. government really understands the mixed message they are sending to the world. They claim to be invading countries all around the world: Iraq, Afghanistan, now Libya, because they want to spread 'democracy'. Ok. But now the majority of a population are fighting their hardest for democracy and dying for it and innocent medical staff are actually being tortured and God knows what else, and somehow the U.S. are suddenly too busy to care. Seriously? The foreign policy is a joke.

What the world does see is that U.S. only supports anything that involves a lot of violence: wars are increasing and dictators are tacitly supported. History will not look on this era kindly.

Only in bahrain doctors and nurses are jailed and tortured , they face military court just because they were doing their job . this is horrible , where is the international media , beleive it or not the lawyer of one of the political prisoners is in jail with his client? Shame on the world to accept this , shame on us to accept this . at least write your objection this is the least you can do

If there is anyone who believes the regime in Bahrain, do your homework and look at youtube video, CNN, BBC, visit amnesty Intern, HRW, etc and look at the human right violations in Bahrain.
The regime is simply cracking down on major individual protesters, HR activists, health care professional, journalists, etc. It is also using local Sunni clerics to ignite sectarian campaign and divert the real demands of the protesters.
Visit AlJazeera English and watch interview with Dr. Fareeda Al Dallal as she speaks of some of the torture and humility she faced when she was arrested. Look at the bruises on her face and under left eye. ( regime can no longer).

the world's waiting for Mighty Mouth President OddDim-n-Mad but he is hiding or they kicked his ugly puny midget butt the heck out. so now the mulahs can mouth off. come on whimps in dresses and diapers.

Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights.

25 176 This CR for Nabeel Rajab can get more information from the site ... Commercial Registration Inquiry ... FYI . That he is leasing the commercial licenses to people from India and other East Asian countries and they pay him for money that he is using his power , and is not legal
Nabeel Rajab is not a credible person for the people of Bahrain due to incorrect reports. Most "information that you passed to you are incorrect ... You can refer to the a press conference ... I do not want to put words in you mouth ... Please rewrite the subject's credibility and professional

Such treatment by the government and military of Bahrain is just barbaric. Medical personnel are, and should be treated as, politically neutral. They are healers, who would treat anyone. The State Department should be protesting this with much more assertiveness.

come on V_Koshy, what you are claiming is an insult to human intelligence. If this writer is fabricating the truth, is the NYT as well as dozens of other reputable newspapers in the world are also fabricating the truth...please be reasonable....50 medical personnel are involved in the killing of 2 patients.. this is typical totalitarian regimes propaganda....if you want to wear your blinkers.....then its up to you....

Glaring example of Obama's FAILED foreign and energy policies! We need to develop our own oil fields so that we can cut our need to have a Navy base on this island government, let the Chinese protect the flow of oil. Pullout and blow the base up.

messege for all people in the world
please " help Bahrain " .

BIASED, UNTRUTH & SHODDY!!! This is an attempt at misleading readers & falsifies information. (see links posted below for the real truth)

To those readers who do not know the real Bahrain, please note:
You are shown a photograph of HE's The Justice Minister & The Health Minister of Bahrain conducting a press conference during the course of which these Ministers gave a whole series of statements.

But this writer has only quoted Nabeel Rajab who is just a political opportunist. This fact alone goes to show exactly how much disinformation is being disseminated a group who we call locally "these wicked witches of the west."

As an alternative consider this link:


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

Recent News
Introducing World Now |  September 23, 2011, 8:48 am »



About the Contributors