Bahrain Doctors Sentenced to Jail Terms of 5-15 Years for Treating Injured Demonstrators
Twenty Bahraini medics who treated activists wounded during anti-government protests were jailed for between five and 15 years in sentences that were immediately denounced by medical bodies and human rights groups around the world. The sentences were handed down by a military court set up to handle the trials, which stemmed from an Arab spring-inspired uprising in the country in February and March. It was crushed with the help of armies from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. Thirteen of the doctors and nurses received sentences of 15 years in prison, while another seven received terms of five to 10 years. All of the accused were charged with committing crimes against the state, during an uprising they insist was peaceful and popularly inspired. Most worked at the Salmaniya Medical Centre in Manama, which became a focal point of the tiny Gulf kingdom's uprising. Government officials claimed it had been transformed into a base for a plot to overthrow the 200-year-old monarchy. The formal charges were for stealing medicine, possessing weapons and occupying a government hospital. The medics were also accused of "inciting hatred to the regime and insulting it, instigating hatred against another sect and obstructing the implementation of law, destroying public property and taking part in gatherings aimed at jeopardising the general security and committing crimes." The doctors, all of whom denied the charges, were among dozens arrested for joining protests led by Bahrain's Shia <b>...</b>
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