Scottish Health Minister expresses support for democracy in Bahrain

The Scottish Health Minister today expressed The Scottish Government’s support for all efforts to promote democracy and human rights in Bahrain.

In a meeting with a delegation of persecuted Bahraini medics and a resigned MP, Nicola Sturgeon MSP listened to the testimonies of the medics, describing their experiences as “harrowing” and “abhorrent”.

She said the Scottish Government and the Scottish National Party would be exploring ways to “build international pressure on Bahrain to make genuine reform”.

Adding, “we have a willingness to put pressure on the UK Government” with regards to democracy and human rights for Bahrain.

In a one hour meeting, The Minster heard first hand experiences of the Government crackdown on democracy protesters in which healthcare was on the frontline.

The medics explained how they fled Bahrain after being summoned for interrogation, and the mistreatment and imprisonment subjected on their colleagues.

They also emphasized the fear of injured protesters in attending both public and private medical facilities, due to the militarization of hospitals in Bahrain.

The Minister heard how tear gas is being used as part of the crackdown to collectively punish whole villages.

Sturgeon added that the Scottish National Party was opposed to the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix taking place last month.

She told the medics she will go away from this meeting and meet with her colleagues in the Scottish Government to seriously consider what direct support they can provide to the people of Bahrain.

Taking time out from a busy schedule she reasserted, “I am very supportive and want to support you as much as possible”.

Ali Alaswad, resigned MP said, “We are very grateful that The Minister took the time to meet with us and hear about the situation in Bahrain. We appreciate their continued support and look forward to working together to achieve the democratic outcome in Bahrain, that the people are looking for.”

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