Bahrain Justice and Development Movement demand Bahrain drops all charges against all medics
The Bahrain Justice and Development Movement believes the decision today to sentence 9 Bahraini medics, whilst dropping charges against 9 is still a major injustice.
We maintain the innocence of all the medics who’s only ‘crime’ was to treat injured protesters and bare witness to the regimes brutality. Furthermore we believe this was a politically motivated trial with a political outcome, that exposes the deep flaws in the Bahraini judicial system.
One of the medics whose charges were dropped told us, “We are shocked. I am very sad for my colleagues and feel frustrated.”
The prosecution was forced to backtrack on it’s original decision to sentence all 20 after huge public outcry at the attack on neutral medical professionals. Over 1000 medical professionals from around the world signed a petitionto demand the dropping of charges and countless rights groups and governments condemned the trials.
But we believe ongoing pressure from hardliners inside the regime forced this decision to sentence 9. The most targeted of the 9 is Dr. Ali Alekry who was given 5 years in prison.
Below are all the sentences against the 9. See a full list at Physicians for Human Rights:
- Ali Al-Ekri: 5 years imprisonment.
- Ghassan Dhaif: 1 year imprisonment.
- Mahmood Asghar: 6 month imprisonment.
- Bassem Dhaif: 1 month imprisonment.
- Ebrahim Al-Demistani: 3 years imprisonment.
- Nader Diwani: 1 month imprisonment.
- Abdulkhaliq Al-Oraibi: 1 month imprisonment.
- Dhiaa Abuidrees: 2 month imprisonment.
- Saeed Al-Samahiji: 1 year imprisonment.
We note the dropping of the charges, which previously made up the main case against the medics, of occupying Salmaniya Medical Complex and possessing weapons. This shows these original allegations to be pure lies and exposes the false claims of the prosecution.
We remain disturbed that as of yet there has been no investigation into claims by the medics of torture whilst in detention. There should be a full investigation and any official found guilty should be immediately prosecuted.
BJDM find it peculiar that the sentences were only handed out to the male medics and believe this could show an awareness by the regime that imprisoning female Doctors could lead to greater condemnation. When the original sentences were handed out last September the international media featured prominently the plight of the female medics. PR considerations have no place in uncovering the truth and therefore we believe this to be another indication of the kangaroo nature of Bahrain’s court system.
We believe these sentences are the product of a tension between appeasing the hardliners in the regime, whilst avoiding international condemnation. This serves as clear proof of the inadequacy of the judicial system that is run from the Royal Court, rather than independently.
On top of the dropping of all charges we continue to call for an independent judicial system, as part of a complete package of reforms to move the country towards democracy. These sentences also prove a lack of reforms thus far, despite claims to the contrary.
This video shows Rula Al Saffar describing the feeling amongst the medics that they are not free until all are free: