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Obama foreign policy failure enables Bahrain Regime to imprison Medics for tending injured protesters

Bahrain: A nurse sentenced to one year imprisonment in link to treatment of injured protesters
17 October, 2012 – ABNA.co

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights express concern regarding the arrest of yet another medical staff, Dental Assistant Halima Abdulaziz Al-Sabag on 15 Oct 2012, after attending her trial of appeal against 1 year imprisonment sentence which she received earlier, an action that affirm continuation of targeting of medical staff by the Bahraini authorities.

Dental Assistant Halima Abdulaziz Al-Sabag was arrested for the first time from her workplace in Salmaniya hospital on January 26, 2012. Allegedly she took first-aid medicines for the treatment of injured protesters, who suffered injuries as a result of the suppression of the authorities. She was detained for approximately 3 weeks pending investigation on an alleged charge of exploitation of her job to seize the money of the state, a charge denied by Al-Sabag. (see previous appeal here: bahrainrights.hopto.org/en/node/5006 ). She was put on trial along with the head nurse and sentenced on 18 Sep 2012 to 1-year imprisonment and a fine of 100 Bahraini dinars whilst the other nurse was acquitted.[1] She was then arrested again while attending her trial of appeal on 15 Oct 2012, to execute the sentence. The trial of appeal was postponed until 18 Nov 2012.

The hospitals in Bahrain have been under military control for over 18 months now, protesters are unable to receive proper treatment in the hospitals as they fear arrest if they seek hospital care for their injuries, as hospitals have been ordered to report any injury related to protest to the police. Instead, they are forced to receive inferior treatment at home, or remain untreated. In May there were documented cases of protesters being interrogated and arrested after arriving to hospitals, and before the completion of their medical treatment.[2]

The criminal courts in Bahrain are still considering the cases of 28 health professionals because of their involvement in the treatment of wounded demonstrators. Verdicts are expected to be passed on them on January 2013 . [3] On the 14th of June 2012, an appeals court upheld the convictions of nine doctors, who were sentenced to between one month to five years in prison for their involvement in the treatment of injured protesters during the Feb 2011 uprising, and subsequently 6 of them were arrested[4] . At the same time, some other members of the medical staff are still in prison, including Nurse Hassan Maatoq, sentenced by a military court to three years in prison [5] . All this is happening, although reports by international human rights organizations and Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), confirmed the exposure of medics to mistreatment and torture in order to extract confessions that have been later used in cases against them. …more

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