The 20 Medics ‘felony group’, who were harshly sentenced and convicted in Military Court last year appealed in the Civil Court, and 9 were acquitted, 9 had their sentences reduced, (to between 1 month and 5 years), while two of the convicted are outside Bahrain and had their verdicts upheld.
None of those acquitted were returned to their jobs at the Ministry of Health. Those who were convicted appealed the sentences at the highest Court of Cassation, which postponed its decision until the 1st of October.
The Court, instead of ordering investigation into the allegations made by the Medics of their torture, agreed with the General Prosecutor that they would not take confessions into consideration. This should not be the case if this is to be considered a fair trial, moreover the allegations of torture should be investigated before the verdict.
The General Prosecutor issued a statement saying that they are investigating the allegations of torture of Medics; they say that they found 15 perpetrators who were involved, but still none of those accused of abuse have been taken to court and there are no details of the charges brought against them or who they are. Nor has there been any call for witnesses from the group of Medics who were tortured.
The ‘misdemeanor group’ consists of 28 Doctors, Nurses and Paramedics, their case is still ongoing through the Court. The verdict was supposed to have been issued on the 4th of September but the judiciary postponed it claiming that they are investigating allegations of torture. The hearing today was adjourned until the 2nd of October.
Although the entire ‘misdemeanor group’ was returned to work, they are not in the same locations or positions they originally held, and their salaries have not been given to them in full.
One of the Doctors commented:
“We are not expecting a fair trial for the remaining Medics, despite International pressure and NGO’s stating that these Medics, if jailed, would be considered Prisoners of Conscience.