The Independent reports:
The intimidation and detention of doctors treating dying and injured pro-democracy protesters in Bahrain is revealed today in a series of chilling emails obtained by The Independent.
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.
Emails between a Bahraini surgeon and a British colleague, seen by The Independent, describe in vivid detail the threat facing medical staff as they struggle to treat victims of the violence. They provide a glimpse of the terror and exhaustion suffered by the doctors and medical staff.
Bahraini government forces backed by Saudi Arabian troops have cracked down hard on demonstrators since the unrest began on 15 February – and the harshness of their response has now been extended to those treating the injured.
The author of the emails, a senior surgeon at the Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain’s main civil hospital, was taken in for questioning at the headquarters of the interior ministry in Manama. He never re-emerged. No reason has been given for his arrest, nor has there been any news of his condition.
In a series of emails, passed on in the hope of drawing attention to the plight of he and his colleagues, the surgeon describes appalling scenes at Salmaniya hospital, with staff being threatened and detained in increasing numbers for treating injured democracy protesters.