Bahraini Doctors & Nurses Charged with Trying to “Topple the King’s Monarchy”

23 doctors and 24 nurses who treated pro-democracy protesters in Bahrain have been charged with “attempting to topple the king’s monarchy” — treason, in effect. Al Jazeera reports that they were formally charged today in a special military court, behind closed doors.

The 47 medical professionals were arrested in March when Bahrain declared martial law and undertook a harsh crackdown against protesters, who had been inspired to take to the streets after the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. Martial law was lifted last week but the government has told opposition activists that there will be “‘consequences’ in case of any further challenges to the government.”

With the lifting of the state of emergency, a Formula One Prix race that was cancelled due to the unrest in March has been rescheduled for October. While some say that holding the race will help the country’s economy and signals a return to normalcy, human rights activists counter that holding the race shows how little respect for human rights Formula One and its sponsors have. A petition asking Red Bull and other corporate sponsors of the Formula One race to boycott the event can be found on the advocacy website Avaaz.

On Sunday, Bahraini police fired at Shia marches in religious processions in villages outside the capital of Manama, according to the country’s opposition al-Wefaq movement and residents. Police used tear gas, rubber bullets, sound grenades and birdshot to disperse the marchers. Residents of one village, Sitra, said that several were injured and a house burned down. Says Al Jazeera:

Residents said that some gatherings were purely religious, while at others marchers shouted slogans against the ruling al-Khalifa family, including “The people want the fall of the regime”, a chant that has become the symbol of similar protests in Tunisia and Egypt which dethroned long-time rulers.

“We condemn this attack, this kind of attack will make the situation even worse,” said Sayyed Hady of al-Wefaq. “This event is so, so normal in Bahrain, we’ve been doing it for centuries … the authorities said they won’t attack religious events, but this is what they did.

Government officials have denied that any clashes have occurred. Reuters quotes one such official:

“There are no clashes really, there were some outlaws who caused some problems but these were small incidents that were quickly stopped. The situation is stable and back to normal.”

Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa is to visit the White House this week: Will the plight of the 23 doctors and 24 nurses, medical professionals who were doing their jobs to save lives, be on the agenda?

 

 

Take Action: Sign the petition to call for the release of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and other peaceful protestors!

Take Action: Sign the petition to release Bahraini doctors and nurses.

 

Previous Care2 Coverage

 

Bahraini Crown Prince to Visit White House Next Week

 

Martial Law Lifted in Bahrain But Protests Continue

20-Year Prison Sentences for Nine Bahraini Protesters

4 Bahraini Protesters Sentenced to Death

 

 

Photo of Bahraini nurses by Al Jazeera English.

20 comments

Judith Corrigan
Judith Corrigan8 years ago

They wonder why the people want a change of regime??

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Parvez Z.
Parvez Zuberi8 years ago

Unbelievable where justice gone Americans will jump and start killing and bombing countries whom they do not like but where their interest is involved they look the other way this typical of American double standards

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Ruadh S.
Ruadha S8 years ago

Gee, not like the job isn't hard enough already. I've been assaulted by patients over the year, but not by the government.

I would also think this would have a dire effect on admissions to train as nurse or doctor. Can't they realize that someday there night be no one able to help them?

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Christine S.

This is a terrible injustice. Doctors and nurses take an oath to heal- they should not be charged with a crime, just because they heal people the government doesn't like.

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Linda T.
Linda T8 years ago

Not much different here in the good ole U.S.A. We want to throw Dr.'s in jail for providing women conterception options.

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Patrick F.
Patrick f8 years ago

perhaps there should be a major protest outside the Whitehouse gates when that scumbag arrives.

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Beth M.
Beth M8 years ago

Perhaps no one in Bahrain should be given medical treatment because you don't really know the patient's polical leanings. This is so sad.

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KrassiAWAY B.
Krasimira B8 years ago

Unbelievable! Both petitions already signed.

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Drusilla P.
Drusilla P8 years ago

Thank you for the info and the links.
It's so sad that they're being charged.

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James Morley
James Morley8 years ago

@Right on Michael - as long as they are on our side, they can do anything they want!?

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