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Bahrain Government pursuing genocide, say doctors

Manama (Bahrain) , Thu, 21 Apr 2011 ANI

Manama (Bahrain), Apr. 21 (ANI): Manama (Bahrain), Apr. 21 (ANI): Medical staff in Bahrain capital Manama have accused their government of genocide. They said that the government is ruthlessly cracking down on opposition demonstrators.


At least 32 doctors, including surgeons, physicians, paediatricians and obstetricians, have been arrested and detained by Bahrain"""""""s police in the last month in a campaign of intimidation that runs directly counter to the Geneva Convention guaranteeing medical care to people wounded in conflict. octors around the world have expressed their shock and outrage.


One doctor, an intensive care specialist, was held after she was photographed weeping over a dead protester.


Another was arrested in the theatre room while operating on a patient.


Many of the doctors, aged from 33 to 65, have been "disappeared" - held incommunicado or at undisclosed locations.


Their families do not know where they are. Nurses, paramedics and ambulance staff have also been detained.


Emails between a Bahraini surgeon and a British colleague, seen by The Independent, describe in vivid detail the threat facing medical staff as they struggle to treat victims of the violence.


They provide a glimpse of the terror and exhaustion suffered by the doctors and medical staff.


Bahraini government forces backed by Saudi Arabian troops have cracked down hard on demonstrators since the unrest began on 15 February - and the harshness of their response has now been extended to those treating the injured.


In a series of emails, passed on in the hope of drawing attention to the plight of he and his colleagues, one surgeon describes appalling scenes at Salmaniya hospital, with staff being threatened and detained in increasing numbers for treating injured democracy protesters.


According to the surgeon, the military has taken control of the hospital, and soldiers and policemen are treating doctors, nurses, paramedics and patients as suspects.


John Black, president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said: "These reports of harassment of medical staff in the ongoing unrest in Bahrain, including surgeons trained in the UK, are deeply disturbing. The protection and care of people wounded in conflict is a basic right guaranteed by the Geneva Convention and one that every doctor or medical institution should be free to fulfil."


The EU"""""""s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Ashton, has expressed concern about the killings and beatings in Bahrain, ahead of a visit there. (ANI)


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