“Bahrain’s highest court upholds the previous ruling to convict 9 doctors & nurses by sentencing them to jail from between one month and 5 years.

These medics participated in treating protesters during the uprising in Bahrain during March 2011.

After the crackdown by the security forces on the protesters, these medics were targeted, they were detained, tortured (as proved by the BICI report & forensic doctors’ report) and convicted in military court to jail sentences ranging from 5 to 15 years.

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Following an international outcry against these verdicts the medics were allowed to appeal before civil courts which again convicted some of the medics to jail sentences between 1 month to 5 years despite the fact that the public prosecution agreed to investigate the torture and drop the confessions of the medics; indirectly admitting their torture. The medics were acquitted from the more prominent criminal charges such as ‘occupying’ a hospital, possessing weapons, and embezzlement of hospital equipment.

Following this court, the head of public prosecution issued a statement on the course of investigation of torture and ill-treatment allegations in the case of the medical staff, stating that they finished investigating seventeen public security personnel, including officers who were charged with the use of force and threats to force an accused to confess to crimes. Public prosecution sent two police officers to trial by the high criminal court. The first court hearing for those accused of torture was today but it was adjourned because the accused didn’t show up.

Today the court of cassation, instead of ordering to investigate the torture of these medics which was also  proved by forensic medical reports given to the court, upheld the previous ruling in a politically motivated trial.
Convictions and sentences carried by this ruling were related to charges of illegal gathering, promoting the change of the political regime by force, instigating sectarian hatred, illegal detention of persons and destruction of public property.
All these charges have no basis and were negated by the prosecution witnesses in court as well as the defendant witnesses.

The medics are asking for justice  and urging the international community to stop this war against them and respect medical neutrality.”