Delegation of Bahraini medics to meet with Scottish Health Minister

A group of medics and a resigned MP who fled persecution in Bahrain will meet today with Nicola Sturgeon, The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health in Scotland.

The 3 medics all worked in Bahrain’s Salmaniya Medical Complex that was occupied by Bahrain Defence Forces during the early days of the 14thFebruary Uprising. When Government forces began detaining and interrogating medical workers, they fled Bahrain fearing for their safety.

Also attending is Ali Alaswad, a resigned MP from Bahrain who was also targeted during the crackdown.

They will meet with the Secretary for Health to discuss the ongoing attacks on the medical profession in Bahrain, that has included the arrest, torture and charging of medics who witnessed the horrific injuries inflicted on protesters.

They will provide their own eyewitness testimonies to the militarization of healthcare in Bahrain that has driven many injured protesters to underground hospitals, as they fear they will be arrested rather than treated in mainstream health facilities.

In September, 20 medics were sentenced to between 5 and 15 years in prison for treating injured protesters. Despite international outcry, the charges have yet to have been dropped.

They will also meet with other politicians, including Johann Lamont the Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, to inform of the ongoing situation in Bahrain, where democracy protesters continue to be killed due to excessive force carried out by security personnel.

Dr. Mahmoud Al Fardan, one of the medics on the delegation said:

I am a first hand witness to the attack on both staff and patients of healthcare in Bahrain. I myself was a victim of the abuse by Bahrain Defence Forces, whilst working at Salmaniya Medical Complex. Fearing for the safety of me and my family I left Bahrain, which proved to be warranted given the later arrest, detention and torture of some of my colleagues.”

Ali Alaswad, resigned MP, said:

“We are very grateful to the Scottish Government and the Health Minister for meeting with us and listening to the grave problems faced by the people of Bahrain. People continue to die on the streets because they are not being afforded the proper healthcare, whilst medical workers are being punished for being eyewitnesses to the Government brutality. We want to inform the Scottish Government of the problems we face and that without political reform these issues will continue to exist. We call on the Scottish to lead the international community to push for democratic change in Bahrain.

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