Bahrain Orders Retrials for Medics

    A man from the Shiite Muslim village of Sitra, south of the Bahraini capital Manama is wheeled into the Salmaniya hospital late on March 15, 2011, after he was shot with pellets of buckshot, as the king imposed a state of emergency after bringing in foreign troops to help quell anti-regime protests. AFP PHOTO/JAMES LAWLER DUGGAN (Photo credit should read JAMES LAWLER DUGGAN/AFP/Getty Images)


    Bahraini judicial authorities on Wednesday ordered retrials for the 20 medical professionals who were each sentenced last week to 15 years in prison by a special military court. The decision has come under harsh criticism, since the defendants are civilians who were tried in military court, despite the fact that military rule ended in June—and two medics recently came forward with allegations of torture by their captors. The medical professionals, mainly doctors and some nurses, were arrested during Bahrain’s protests this spring for allegedly just treating wounded protesters. Their arrest and subsequent imprisonment had become a key issue for demonstrators during the conflict and had become a thorny issue for the American ally in the Middle East. The court ordered the medical workers released immediately.

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