The case of the 20 Bahraini medics has been adjourned once again, this time until 9th January.
At a military court in October, the physicians were initially sentenced to between 5 and 15 years but after international pressure the Bahrain Government was forced to refer the case to a civilian court.
It was hoped that given the publication of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry and huge international attention, the prosecution would take a fairer stance a second time around.
However, many in the courtroom were shocked today when the prosecution presented a number of guns and swords they claim were found in Salmaniya Hospital.
This despite the BICI denying there was any evidence of Doctors wielding weapons as well as the prosecution failing to present this in previous hearings.
Dr. Fatima Haji and Dr. Nada Dhaif, two of the Doctors facing the charges, told BBC Radio they found this new evidence ‘hilarious’ and that they laughed out loud in the courtroom when the weapons were brought in.
Another of the medics Dr. Ghassan Dhaif told us that the prosecutor had presented ridiculous evidence without the permission of the judge. “Our futures are on the edge and we rely on God and then international pressure from Governments and NGO’s,” he said.
For whatever reason this is clear evidence that the Bahrain Government is failing to take seriously the recommendations of the BICI and rather than accepting their bad treatment of these medics, they are in fact escalating the campaign against them.
We call on the international community to continue to support these medics and use whatever pressure they have to secure the dropping of the false and politically motivated charges.
Meanwhile this weekend saw a demonstration in Washington DC to support the case of the medics. Dr. Margaret Flowers said a group marched from Freedom Plaza to the Bahrain embassy, chanting, “hey hey, ho ho, let the Bahraini Doctors go!”
They handed a petition signed by over 1000 physicians worldwide, demanding the dropping of the charges into the embassy.
In London, a Doctor from Salmaniya Hospital helped to hand in the same petition to the Bahrain embassy there.
On Friday protesters in Manchester also expressed their support for the medics with a protest outside the Manchester Royal Infirmary.
As of yet we have had no formal response from the Bahrain Government or the embassies about the petition.