UK Health Union, UNISON, backs Bahrain Medics

The National Executive of UK’s largest trade union, UNISON, has voted to support the campaign to free the Bahrain medics.

They are also supporting our International Day of Action for the medics

Please read the press release below from RAPAR


Unison(Health)National Executive declare solidarity with Bahrain Medics ahead of trial.

Solidarity Vigil and Protest outside Manchester Royal Infirmary, Wilmslow Road, Manchester, 12.30 – 14.00 Friday 25th November

The National Executive of the health workers union, UNISON Health, is backing the campaign to drop all charges against the Medics of Bahrain.  This is part of the International Campaign that will be holding a series of actions across the globe on this day.

On October 1 st , 20 medical professionals in Bahrain were imprisoned by military court for between five to 15 years for attending to people who had been wounded by the regime.  The Kingdom of Bahrain, ruled by the Al Kaleefa Family, has no independent judiciary.

On November 28 th , following an international campaign, the Bahraini Medics now face a ‘re-trial’ in a ‘civilian court’ in Bahrain.

Karen Reissmann, a Greater Manchester nurse who sits on the National Executive of UNISON, one of Britain’s largest trades unions for health workers that is now supporting the campaign says:  “The medics in Bahrain were right to treat all the protesters with injuries inflicted after they were attacked while campaigned for justice and democracy. Nurses and health workers in Britain, and right across the world, are outraged at these draconian sentences. All the medics should be released and all the charges dropped.’

A. shaheed Al Markhi, aged 34, who is now based in London having been granted asylum, was working as a specialist nurse at the Salmaniya Medical Complex in Bahrain on 17 th February when the people at the main roundabout in the capital of Bahrain were first attacked by the regime, and again when the roundabout was attacked for the second time on Sunday, 13 March, 2011.  On that day the National Safety Law was announced and the hospital was besieged.

Many casualties arrived at his hospital and he says: “Despite the complicated situation, the medics were able to successfully treat casualties throughout this period. However, they did not assume any political roles. Instead, their roles were completely professional, in that they followed the Hippocratic Oath and treated all members of the society who were injured, without discrimination and sectarianism.”

Rula Al-Saffar, President of Bahrain Nursing Society and still in Bahrain says:  We need you to show your solidarity …to put pressure on the government of Bahrain and the Minister of Health who is also the Minister of Human Rights in Bahrain to release our medics. As Martin Luther King stated, ‘our lives begin to end the day we became silent about things that matter’, it is time to act before it becomes too late.”

The vigil outside the Manchester Royal Infirmary on Oxford Road Manchester this Friday 25 th November is being supported by Manchester’s Bahrain Solidarity Group that includes the Bahrainis Association for Freedom and the Manchester based Human Rights organisation, RAPAR .

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