Female Medics Describe Bahrain Torture

Two Bahraini medics have opened up and described the torture they faced after being arrested for taking part in antigovernment protests. Dr. Nada Dhaif, a dentist, and Rula al Saffar, president of the Bahrain Nursing Society, were each sentenced to 15 years in jail—just two of 20 medics sentenced on Sept. 29 by Bahrain’s special security court, set up by emergency rule that was lifted in June. “I thought I was being kidnapped,” Dhaif said. “I couldn’t even say goodbye to my children … they would blindfold us and make us listen to each other’s confessions.” Dhaif said they were threatened with rape while blindfolded and handcuffed—and then were forced to sign false confessions. The medics have rejected the trial by military tribunal, and they have appealed to the United Nations to investigate the torture and abuse they faced.