Bahrain: Bahrain:International Human Rights Organizations Observed the Trial of the Medical Staff in Manama

29.11.11

Beirut, 29 November, 2011 – A group of international human rights organizations, including the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, attended the trial of Doctors and Medics in Bahrain before the Upper Court of Criminal Appeals, which was held on the morning of Monday, November 26, 2011. Deputy Director of the GCHR Khalid Ibrahim was present on behalf of the Centre at the Hearing.

The defense team for the doctors and medics acted in an efficient way and asked the court lift the travel ban and stop the proceedings pending the decision on complaints of torture made by the medical staff. On the other hand, it was clear that the prosecution lacks argument, logic and proof.

The lawyers of the doctors and medics adopted what Prof. Bassiouni mentioned in his report that the articles on which the National Safety Court were established are unconstitutional and demanded giving them the opportunity to raise the constitutional complaint.

Dr. Nada Dheif talked to the Court that the charges are directed at staff in Salmaniya Medical Centre and that the public prosecutor doesn’t know that she is not working there, and that the only witness against her is the very same person who supervised the torture, and insulted and gave her electric shocks. Also, Dr. Ali Al-Ekri talked to the Court and stated that he was forced by the military prosecutor to confess under torture.

While the Court was under way the Public Prosecutor brought into the hall three boxes  from which Kalashnikov assault rifles, ammunition and white weapons, were taken out alleged that they were seized in a Salmaniya Medical Centre. It was noted by international observers those weapons were supposed to be criminal evidences are not kept inside special bags and that the policemen directly have taken them into their own hands and this eliminates their validity to be used as evidence in this case.

The judge adjourned the trial until the 9th of January 2011 in order for the prosecution to prepare translation to Arabic for its document that presented at the hearing on 23 October 2011. This document includes dropping charges of incitement, false news, and to refrain from work as well as cancellation of confessions that were extracted from members of the medical staff under torture. The judge asked the defense and also the general prosecutor to display films in their possession at the next hearing and ordered the annexation of Bassiouni’s report into the file of this case.

"These doctors and their assistants have the competence, courage, honesty and acted in accordance with the ethics of this noble medical profession, have been subjected to imprisonment, interrogation and torture to extract false confessions from them, and they have faced all these gross violations without any fault of their own," said Khalid Ibrahim, Deputy Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights. He added, "The only solution the world is waiting for is to drop all the false accusations against members of the medical staff and the abolition of this trial which is grossly unfair"

 The Gulf Centre for Human Rights calls the King of Bahrain to:

  1. Intervene personally and immediately to stop this nonsense and drop all charges against the medical staff.
  2.  Disable all the arbitrary measures taken against them and their families.
  3. Compensate for all damages they have endured.  
  4. The formation of an independent commission to investigate all allegations of torture they suffered.

For more information, please contact:

 Bahrain:  Nabeel Rajab (Arabic and English)                        +973-396-333-99

Lebanon: Khalid Ibrahim (Arabic and English)                     +961-701-595-52

 The Gulf Centre for Human Rights is an independent centre is registered in Ireland. The Centre works to strengthen support for human rights defenders and independent journalists in Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.