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14th June 2012

BAHRAIN MEDIA ROUNDUP


Nine others were freed, and 15-year sentences were upheld against two doctors who fled Bahrain.

Bahrain convicts 9 medics of protest ties; 9 freed


Nine medical professionals accused of aiding Bahrain's antigovernment uprising were sentenced Thursday to prison terms ranging from one month to five years, a decision that brought complaints from international rights groups and a senior U.S. envoy.

The verdicts came nearly eight months after the 20member group was sentenced to prison terms of between five and 15 years by a now disbanded security tribunal, set up by the Sunni monarchy as part of crackdowns against Shiite-led protests that began in February 2011. A retrial in civilian court was ordered earlier this year. Read More against nine medical professionals and acquitted nine others - but rights groups also criticized the rulings, with Amnesty International saying it was a "dark day for justice". "While sentences were reduced, we are deeply disappointed by these convictions and that the Bahraini government did not use alternative means to address these cases," visiting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Michael Posner told a press conference. Read More

US disappointed on Bahrain medic decision


The United States said Thursday it was "deeply disappointed" by a court decision in Bahrain that upheld sentences for some medics involved in protests against the US-allied Sunni regime last year. Bahrain's appeals court acquitted nine medics arrested at a hospital near the protests and reduced the

terms of nine others. But State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that charges on all should be dropped. "We are deeply disappointed," Nuland told reporters. "We believe these convictions do appear, at least in part, to be based on the defendants' criticisms of government actions and policies." "While the sentences were reduced, we are discouraged that the Bahraini government did not use alternative means to address these cases," Nuland said. Read More The 20 doctors and nurses worked at Manama's Salmaniya Medical complex, stormed by security forces after a crackdown on a protest encampment at the capital's nearby Pearl Square in March 2011. The government said nine of the defendants "were found innocent, five will be released for time served, while four that were convicted still have their right for appeal." Read More

Bahrain cuts jail terms of medics in protest trial


Bahrain's appeals court acquitted nine medics and cut the jail terms of nine others on Thursday for their role in anti-regime protests last year, in a case widely criticised by rights groups. Two others arrested in the crackdown, who remain at large, did not appeal.

Bahrain eases medic sentences, U.S. "deeply disappointed"


The United States said on Thursday it was "deeply disappointed" by a Bahrain court verdict which failed to strike down sentences against medics over their role in last year's pro-democracy uprising. The court in the Gulf Arab state, an important U.S. ally that hosts Washington's Fifth Fleet, reduced sentences

has drawn international criticism of the U.S.-allied Gulf Arab state.

Bahrain court convicts 9 medics for role in uprising


A Bahrain appeals court convicted nine medics on Thursday for their role in last year's pro-democracy uprising, and acquitted nine others, in a controversial case that

A military court sentenced the 20 medics, who are all Shi'ite, in September to terms of between five and 15 years on charges including theft of medical equipment, occupying a hospital and incitement to topple the state. Read More years in prison, The New York Times reported. Five of the doctors were expected to be sentenced to time already served. Nine other doctors were acquitted. The doctors, all Shiites, were among the thousands of people arrested during a government crackdown on pro-democracy protesters that occupied a roundabout in the capital of Manama. Read More

Bahrain Charges Recently Released Child With Political Crimes


An appeals court in Bahrain reduced sentences or acquitted medics accused of taking part in anti-government protests last year.

"Today the verdict of the 20 medics was handed down; nine were found innocent, five will be released for time served," the official Bahrain News Bahraini court convicts 9 Agency reports. "The four doctors that were convicted still have their right for Nine doctors were convicted in a appeal. Legal recourses Bahraini court Thursday of crimes remain." stemming from the 2011 popular uprising in a case that drew global Read More condemnation. The defendants, who did not appear in court, could be sentenced from one month to five

Bahrain Court Upholds Convictions of 9 Doctors


An appeals court in Bahrain on Thursday upheld the convictions of nine doctors charged with crimes related to the popular uprising last year, in a case that drew international condemnation and was seen as a crucial test of the governments commitment to political reform.

The nine doctors, who did not appear in court when the verdicts were announced, were sentenced to between one month to ve years in prison. Nine other doctors had their convictions overturned.

Bahrain appeals court reduces jail terms of protest medics

Another was given three years, while a further seven medics were handed jail terms of between a month and a year. The US said that it was "deeply disappointed" by the court's decision. State department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the US was "discouraged" that the Bahraini government had not used alternative means to address the cases. Read More

A Bahraini appeals court has partially overturned a court The doctors, all Shiites, were ruling sentencing 20 medics to among thousands of people lengthy jail terms for taking part arrested during a in anti-government protests. government crackdown last Nine of the medics were year, afterprotesters acquitted but one of the demanding greater political freedoms occupied a central doctors, Ali al-Ekri, was sentenced to five years in jail. roundabout in the Bahraini capital of Manama. Read More state medical care, would offer good anecdotes to share with my friends over afternoon tea. It was almost trendy. Then I pitched up, medical supplies in tow, and everything changed. I tasted the way people suffered, witnessed how genuine their cause was and how outrageous their treatment had been. It was impossible not to be touched and take the movement to heart. Read More overthrow the government and were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

Bahrain court quashes doctors' convictions


Convictions against nine Bahraini doctors accused of playing leading roles in antigovernment protests last year have been quashed and sentences against nine others downgraded by an appeals court. In a contentious ruling that follows widespread international condemnation of the medics' trials, one senior

orthopedic surgeon, Ali al-Akri, still faces five years' imprisonment, while another, Ibrahim al-Dimistani, has been sentenced to three years. Bahraini authorities immediately issued arrest warrants for the nine medics still facing jail time. Two more doctors from an original group of 20 did not appeal against earlier verdicts of 15 years in custody, which were handed down by a military court. They are understood to have fled. Read More September did not attend Thursday's proceedings and are believed to have left the country or gone into hiding. The defendants, who are all Shi'ite, worked at Manama's Salmaniya Medical complex which was stormed by security forces in a crackdown on protests last year. Read More colleagues were acquitted, the decision sparked outrage from international human rights groups who have always viewed the case as politically motivated. "Today was a moment of truth for the Bahrain regime, one it failed miserably," said Brian Dooley of Human Rights First, which has closely monitored the trial. Physicians for Human Rights called the court's decision a "travesty of justice". Read More

By targeting us doctors, Bahrain's state shows no one is beyond its grasp by Nada Dhaif
It was curiosity that drew me to the Pearl roundabout in central Manama in February last year. If I'm honest I thought offering medical help to the protesters, set upon by armed government troops and neglected by Bahrain's

Bahrain reduces sentences for medics


The decision reached on Thursday acquitted nine of the medics whilst handing reduced sentences to nine others. A further two medics originally handed 15 year sentences in

Bahrain acquits 9 medics, upholds convictions of 11 for roles in unrest


Bahrain on Thursday acquitted nine medical professionals who were accused of involvement in unrest in the country but upheld convictions of another 11. All 20 were convicted last year of attempting to

Bahrain sliced the sentences of many whose convictions were upheld Thursday. Of the 11 whose convictions stand, two are at large, five will be released on time served and the other four can appeal their sentences again, the Bahrain Information Affairs Authority announced. Read More

Bahrain upholds convictions of Shia doctors


A judge ruled that the medics, detained in a police raid on a hospital used to treat protesters wounded by the security forces, were guilty of plotting to overthrow the kingdom's Sunni royal family. Although their sentences were reduced, and nine of their

Bahrain court cuts jail terms for medics accused of aiding uprising
Nine of the 20 doctors and nurses accused of trying to overthrow the Bahraini monarchy in a hotly contested case were found innocent Thursday in civilian court, and five were released for time already served, the state news agency reported. Four others will stay in jail, with lighter sentences than a military court handed them

nine months ago. The 15-year sentences of two doctors who are no longer in Bahrain were upheld. Despite the sentence reductions and prisoner releases, human rights group condemned the renewed guilty verdicts for 11 of the medical professionals in what they argue is another sign of Bahrain's continued crackdown on dissent. The new trial, ordered in May, had been seen by many as a chance for the court to overturn the earlier sentences of up to 15 years in prison. Read More a new hearing. Nine others have had their sentences reduced.

international criticism of Bahrain, a close US ally. The retrial of the 18 medical staff ordered by the government to review the sentences handed down last year by a military-led court cut the harshest sentence, of 15 years, to five in the case of Dr Ali al-Ekry, the most high-profile defendant. Others also had their sentences cut to jail terms ranging from one month to three years. Nine were acquitted. Two medics did not appeal against their sentences and are believed to be outside Bahrain or in hiding. Read More which was raided by security forces in March 2011.

Nine medical staff convicted in Bahrain


A Bahrain civil court has convicted nine medical staff charged over their role in last years pro-democracy revolt, while acquitting nine others, in a verdict that has been attacked by human rights activists. The case of the doctors and nurses, many of whom claim they were tortured last year after their arrest, has sparked

Bahrain convictions quashed


The convictions of nine Bahraini medics accused over anti-government protests have been quashed following

Lots of coverage here, including 5 articles 3 videos and 2 reports Read More

Bahrain Convicts Nine Medics for Participating in Protests


A Bahrain appeals court has sentenced nine medics for their roles in last year's prodemocracy protests and cleared nine others. A civil court reviewed the sentences handed down last year by a military-led court to 18 Shiite medics and nurses who worked at Manama's Salmaniya Medical Complex,

Former Bahraini opposition MP summoned by Public Prosecution


A Bahraini appeal court on Thursday convicted nine doctors for their role during the unrest last year and acquitted nine others during a high profile trial attended by activists and diplomats. The convicted medics were sentenced to terms ranging

between one month and five years. Two medics who were sentenced previously to 15 years each did not appeal. The court dropped charges against nine medics for possession of weapons and occupying the largest staterun hospital Salmaniya Medical Complex during the unrest last year. Read More

They originally received sentences ranging between five and 15 years imprisonment on charges that included the burglary of medical equipment and inciting subversion of the state. In addition to being accused of denying Sunni Muslims access to the hospital, the staff were further charged with occupying the vital medical centre and retaining weapons, which were dropped on appeal. Read More Two other medics, Ali Al Sadadi and Qassim Omran, were sentenced in absentia for 15 years each. They were accused of occupying Bahrains main public hospital Salmaniya Medical Complex during unrest in February and March last year. They were also accused of encouraging protesters who staged a sit-in outside the emergency section of the hospital. Read More

Bahrain court jails 10 last year that ranged between medics, declares 9 five and 15 years, sentenced others innocent

Former Bahraini opposition MP summoned by Public Prosecution


A Bahraini court on Thursday acquitted nine of the 20 health professionals on trial and sentenced the others to terms that ranged between one month and five years. The Court of Appeals, reviewing the rulings issued

Ali Al Ekri to five years and Ebrahim Al Demistani to three Bahrains appeal court on Thursday declared innocent years. nine medics facing charges of Seven medical staff who were occupying a public hospital last year. Ten others were also arrested in March and April 2011 were sentenced to sentenced with jail terms ranging from one month to shorter prison terms that do five years. not exceed one year while nine others were acquitted. Two of the defendants were tried in absentia. Read More

Bahrain Hands Down Sentences to Accused Medics


International observers are reacting with a mix of relief and anger at the final verdict announced today in Bahrain's highest court in the case of 20 medics accused of fomenting revolution in the Persian Gulf state. While most of the charges were droppedthe prosecution relied on confessions that the medics claim were extracted through torturethe defendants still face jail time ranging up to 5 years.

The verdict is a small victory for the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies. The consortium of scientists, doctors, and engineers has been pressuring Bahrain's king to release the medics and clear them of all charges. "We are relieved that nine were acquitted and that charges were reduced for others, but none of them should have been brought to trial in the first place," says Carol Corillon, the consortium's director. She adds that the pressure on Bahrain will continue. "[We] will certainly continue to speak out in support of our unjustly imprisoned colleagues." Read More of inciting sedition and engaging in illegal gatherings.

Bahrain and Syria jail medical workers to undermine protests


Bahrain and Syria are imprisoning doctors for treating wounded anti-regime protesters, a tactic that aims at extinguishing medical neutrality in order to undermine anti-regime protests, the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies has warned. On Thursday 14 June, a group of Bahraini medics lost an appeal against lengthy convictions for alleged violent opposition activity, amongst other charges, accusations that the Network, which campaigns against human

rights violations and unjust imprisonment of scientists, scholars, engineers, and health professionals, say were trumped up and intended to intimidate health professionals. Doctors brought in by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, an independent international expert group established in June last year, examined eight of the accused and found evidence of torture including electric shocks and severe beatings. The others allege that they also were tortured to extract confessions, but independent doctors have not been permitted to examine them. Read More

Bahrain court acquits nine medics over prodemocracy protests


A Bahraini court Thursday acquitted nine of 20 medics accused of involvement in anti-government protests last year, reported local media. An emergency military court in September found the 20 medical staff members guilty

The Appeals Court also reduced the jail terms handed down by a military tribunal to nine other medics in the same case, reported the Bahraini newspaper Al Wasat online. The new terms range from one month to five years in prison, according to the report. However, the court kept the 15-year sentence given to two others, who were tried in absentia. Read More at the capital Manamas main Salmaniya Medical Complex. They were originally tried by a military court that sentenced them five to fifteen years in prison on charges including weapons possession, inciting sectarian anger and hatred against the regime, destroying public property and forcefully occupying the hospital. In October, a civilian court began a retrial of the medics, who have consistently denied all the charges and contended that they were simply doing their jobs treating the injured. Read More

Bahrain urged to quash convictions of protest medics


The High Criminal Court of Appeal in Manama has upheld the conviction of nine health professionals tried for their role in anti-government protests last year, prompting Amnesty International to call on the Bahraini authorities to quash the convictions. The court reduced the sentences against nine

medics, on charges including calling for the overthrow of the regime by force, illegal gathering and instigating hatred against another sect to sentences ranging from one month to five years for their alleged role in the protests. Nine other doctors and nurses were cleared of charges. This is a dark day for justice in Bahrain, said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty Internationals Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa. Read More religion and will protect the society from sedition, Al Asala Society said in a statement one day after Bahraini authorities said they arrested a man who repeatedly posted the offensive remarks, using several accounts. This man has a twisted and distorted mind and he should be put to death for his corrupt beliefs and postings. Read More

Bahrain Convicts Doctors For Treating Injured Protesters


An appeals court has partially overturned the harsh sentences given to 20 Bahraini medics, who have been accused of serious crimes including what amounted to treason against the monarchy for treating injured protesters in the 2011 pro-democracy uprising. The doctors, nurses and other medical staff worked

Death penalty for blogger urged


A Salafist society in Bahrain is pushing for the death penalty against a blogger who has reportedly posted remarks deemed offensive to Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] and his wife Aysha. The death penalty will help preserve the status of the

Public Prosecution calls Al Wefaq Resigned MP Sayed Hadi Al Musawi for investigation after complaint
Sayed Hadi Al Musawi was informed he should attend an investigation on Thursday at the Public Prosecution after the Ministry of Interior filed a complaint against him. This summons is part of a campaign by the authorities

of targeting activists and opposition with arrest, trials, dismissing from work, murder and attacking homes. activists and human rights defenders is within the security campaign led by authorities to persecute each national voice defending the rights of Bahraini citizens. Such is the case of the ongoing detention of Nabeel Rajab, human rights defender and President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, for simply expressing his view. Read More

Bahrain Mulls Social The detention of a number of Media Law


Bahrain is planning to introduce new laws to prevent the misuse of social media, according to local media reports. Samira Rajab, minister of state for Information Affairs, said that the country requires such regulations to guarantee the safety of the country and its residents.

The unrest in Bahrain last year was fuelled by the irresponsible use of such media and everything was blown out of proportion to suit some people's agenda, Rajab told reporters on the sidelines of a security conference. With Western countries like the US, UK and France also regulating social media, Bahrain certainly needs to have its own legislation, Gulf Daily News quoted Rajab as saying. Read More