Torturing patients, beating doctors and nurses

Please see Bahrain’s Terror Campaign regarding the mass torture of prisoners.

The military occupied the capital’s main hospital in March, torturing patients and beating staff. At least thirty health workers have been abducted.

Security forces are also using hospital records around the country to track, arrest, and torture wounded protesters. As a result, the wounded are too scared to seek treatment and suffer in silence.

The Bahraini military uses bird shot, which consists of small pellets that embed all over peoples’ bodies. Badly maimed people throughout the country have been deprived of treatment.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMG0kRsdJBs&w=350&h=290]

The Bahraini police has abducted dozens of health care workers and harassed their families. Dr. al-Dallal has been in police custody for over one month and his family fears for his safety. They also arrested his wife and beat her.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQQ_RieWONU&w=350&h=290]

TORTURE OF INJURED PATIENTS

Bahrain’s military occupied Salmaniya hospital in the nation’s capital on March 16 and turned it into a large torture facility. The military placed wounded protesters in the sixth floor ward, cordoned it off and savagely beat patients repeatedly for extended periods to extract false confessions. The military also beat doctors and nurses for trying to treat protesters.

“The armed men forced him and his roommates out of their beds, pushed them to the ground, and tied their hands behind their backs, then beat them and dragged them out of the room.”

“Over the next two days, the witness said, the patients, under lockdown in the sixth floor ward, were subjected to repeated beatings and interrogations.”
Human Rights Watch, “Bahrain: Wounded Protesters Beaten”

*They came in and I was beaten and assaulted every day,* he said. *They were beating me directly on the wound on my head. The doctor discharged me, said I can’t do more, and the police arrested me.*

*They took me to the police station where I had to be standing for two hours. I couldn’t manage. When I fell down, they started to beat me and assaulted me again…*
Health Services Paralyzed: Bahrain’s Military Crackdown on Patients, Doctors without Borders

THE WOUNDED CAN NOT BE TREATED

People throughout the country are too afraid to seek medical care because security forces are using medical records and check points to identify, arrest and torture wounded protesters.

The military is also still occupying Salmaniya hospital as of early May. This affects the whole country because small village hospitals depend on Salmaniya hospital for blood and major surgeries. The police will quickly find out if the village centers order blood or ask for a transfer.

Ashraf doesn’t even dare to seek help in the health center or leave his village. *All the health facilities are under surveillance,* he said. *Even if you are not stopped at check points, they will search me and find my wounds, and then I will be arrested. There are no guarantees for us to go anywhere.*

Health Services Paralyzed: Bahrain’s Military Crackdown on Patients, Doctors without Borders

DOCTORS ARE BEING ABDUCTED

According to Physicians for Human Rights, the Bahraini military has abducted 35 doctors and hospital staff. They are often abducted in late night raids. Once they are in detention, they are cut off from family and attorneys.

There is good reason to believe some doctors are being tortured because of eyewitness accounts of torture being practiced on other detainees. The second video on this page describes how doctor Dr al-Dallal’s wife was also abducted and beaten. Physicians for Human Rights have documented similar abuses.

Bahraini security forces abducted Dr. Ghassan Dhaif in front of his wife and children while at the airport; they were all trying to leave the country on 19 March 2011. Security forces also took his wife and three children to the investigation office where they left the three chilren alone. They then took the wife back to the family’s home and ransacked it, broke furnishings, and stole money and other possessions.

Bahraini forces then took Dr. Dhaif’s wife, also a physician, back to the investigation office where they interrogated her and treated her inhumanely. Yelling obscenities, security forces threatened to torture her by putting a lit cigarette into her eye.

Do No Harm: A Call for Bahrain to End Systematic Attacks on Doctors and Patients, Physicians for Human Rights, page 20

SYSTEMATIC TORTURE AND FEAR

The eyewitness accounts being documented by human rights organizations are terrifying.

They then handcuffed Ali and the dozen other wounded young men in his ward behind their backs with black plastic wrist ties and began to beat them. Then security forces threw Ali and the other patients face first into the floor and dragged them out into the hallway, leaving trails of blood on the hallway floor…. Later that night, police in blue uniforms and men in civilian dress wearing black masks stormed the ward and beat Ali and other patients with the butts of their rifles and kicks to the groin, stomach and flanks.
Do No Harm: A Call for Bahrain to End Systematic Attacks on Doctors and Patients, Physicians for Human Rights, pages 20-21

After physicians treated Sadeq in the emergency department, he was transferred to ward 64 on the sixth floor. That night armed security forces came into his room. They humiliated him by stripping off his clothes and taking photographs. They then pummeled him with their batons and fists. One of the Bahraini police forced his baton into Sadeq’s mouth while he lay in bed.
Do No Harm: A Call for Bahrain to End Systematic Attacks on Doctors and Patients, Physicians for Human Rights, pages 20-21

DOCUMENTATION

All of this has been heavily documented in reports by Doctors without Borders, Physicians for Human Rights and Human Rights Watch. Al Jazeera and CNN have also conducted interviews of eyewitnesses further confirming the gross human rights abuses.

One may click on the following links for detailed reports.

Health Services Paralyzed: Bahrain’s Military Crackdown on Patients, Doctors without Borders

Do No Harm: A Call for Bahrain to End Systematic Attacks on Doctors and Patients, Physicians for Human Rights

Bahrain: Wounded Protesters Beaten, Human Rights Watch

One may also click on the following links for video interviews of medical staff that appear on other pages of this web site.

Bahrain medics claim army cover-up, Al Jazeera

Bahrain’s Dark Secret – Bahrain, Journeyman Pictures, 4:50 to 9:30

I have to emphasize the United States role in this. The Bahrain monarchy has done this to prevent large numbers of wounded protesters from being televised in the West because the monarchy wants U.S. arms and investment to continue. This makes the U.S. government’s silence even more shocking.

Harming Protesters ===>

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