Bahrain: 21 medics acquitted

April 3, 2013

Twenty-one medics arrested at a hospital during anti-government protests in Bahrain two years ago have had their convictions annulled. They had been found guilty in November 2012 of misdemeanours after treating protesters injured by police.

The medics and 28 of their colleagues were arrested in April 2011 when the country was under martial law. They alleged they were tortured and coerced into making false confessions. Of the 28 others, most have been acquitted by a civilian court but three remain in jail and several of those acquitted have not been allowed to return to their work as doctors.

Dr Fatima Haji, a rheumatologist who worked at the Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain’s main hospital, said the acquittals were a ‘first step’. “People need to be reinstated to their jobs, they need to be compensated for the abuse they suffered.” An appeal court overturned her conviction and five-year jail sentence but she has not been offered her job back at Salmaniya.

Earlier news item on this issue

Source: BBC News Middle East, 28 March 2013