Thursday, April 21, 2011

More tyranny in Bahrain

Last month, Bahrain's monarch invited a foreign army into his country and used them to violently suppress his country's pro-democracy movement. Since then, the Bahraini regime has embarked on a reign of terror, raiding Shi'ite homes in the night, disappearing democracy and human rights activists, and apparently murdering them in prison. Now they've taken things a step further, targeting doctors whose sole "crime" is to treat the wounded:

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. Doctors 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.

Doctors have a professional duty to treat anyone in need, regardless of their political or religious views. These people are being persecuted for doing their jobs and acting in a humane and decent fashion. But in Bahrain, that apparently is now a crime.

Meanwhile, the US government still supports the Bahraini regime. By doing so, they are supporting torture, murder, and widespread human rights abuses. Its time that support ended for good.