11 : 00 PM - 03/05/2011
Manama - May3 (BNA)The Military Public Prosecution is questioning 47 medical and paramedical employees for their involvement in the recent deplorable unrest which gripped the Kingdom of Bahrain. "The staff under investigation include 24 doctors and 23 nurses and paramedics", Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowment Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al-Khalifa said.
He revealed the new details as he held a joint press conference with Social Development Minister and Acting Health Minister Dr. Fatima bint Mohammed Al-Balooshi at the Information Affairs Authority (IAA).
The death toll due to the unrest topped 33 people - 16 protestors, 4 "martyrs of the duty", among policemen, 9 citizens and foreigners due terror acts, in addition to four others who passed away for various reasons, including traffic accidents and angina pectoris. Shaikh Khalid defended the National Safety Courts, saying they are not martial courts as they include civil judges. He also denied allegations claiming worshipping venues were targeted, stressing that Bahrain had spent BD15 million over the last 5 years to construct mosques.
During the deplorable incidents that hit Bahrain starting 14 February 2011, some medical and paramedical staff got involved in activities that sharply clashed with standard medical work and ethics. Their practices violated all humanitarian, religious, ethical and genuine citizenship values and norms and turned into barbarous crimes. Several doctors, nurses, paramedics and administrators at the Salmaniya Medical Complex, the largest hospital in the Kingdom of Bahrain, took full control of the premises, including facilities, equipment and human resources. Hard evidence later showed that the complex was used extensively for the activities of the saboteurs who sought to spread chaos, cause disruptions and trouble and create sedition within the Kingdom. In order to highlight the extent of the dangerous actions committed at the premises, and within the confines of what can be disclosed according to Military Public Prosecutor, we wish to share with you some of the findings revealed by the ongoing investigations:
First of all, one doctor took advantage of his position within the hospital to support his colleagues involved in the events in a bid to escalate the situation and distort the image of Bahrain within the international community. His goal was to put pressure on the authorities and erode their capabilities in dealing with the events unfolding at that time. He was followed by a number of employees at the hospital. They held meetings inside and outside the hospital, often at the doctor's private clinic to coordinate their efforts and contribute, through the use of the Salmaniya Hospital, to the developments and to supporting the demonstrators. They formed a committee, headed by the doctor, to oversee the activities and assigned the various tasks. They selected a spokesperson for the committee as well as a secretary general and formed specialized subcommittees, such as the media panel which played a highly visible role in the contact between the defendants and the demonstrators. Another doctor was tasked with the paper work in cooperation with accomplices in order to forge the hospital's certificates and records and produce fake statistics. The move was highly unethical and eventually caused the non-providing of crucial and much-needed medical care and resulted in serious harm and even the death of patients. The unlawful detention of people and the seizure and abuse of public funds were regular crimes throughout the occupation of the hospital. Based on the investigation results so far as well as on the confessions of some of the defendants and on witnesses' reports and testimonies, there is conclusive evidence that the following crimes took place:
They imposed full control on who enters or leaves the hospital by guarding and monitoring its gates and assigning saboteurs and brutes to manage them.
They did not allow the treatment of some citizens and residents based on their sect affiliations and restrict medical care for those who were admitted for one reason or another into the hospital. The records clearly show how remarks were placed on the records of patients who belonged to a sect that differed from that of the defendants. "The attribute baltaji (thug) was used."
The hospital was transformed into an area for vociferous demonstrations and sit-ins and loud slogans, in a blatant desecration of the character and humanitarian purpose of the premises. The activities were also a clear violation of the law that categorically banned demonstrations, rallies and assemblies near hospitals.
The hospital was turned into a center to hold forums and to use the media to disseminate fake news and malicious rumors.
They allowed the media that supported demonstrators and were in their service to enter the hospital and take pictures and films inside, including in the emergency department and operation theaters.
Several doctors made erroneous statements that include bogus and inflated numbers about the number of the injured.
A special stage and several tents were put up for seditious and subversive speeches and statements. Instigators from outside the hospital were allowed to give speeches and hold forums.
Media coverage was always by specific correspondents and media. Some defendants videotaped their own incendiary statements filled with false information and spiteful rumors and disseminated them via satellite channels and the Internet.
There is clear evidence that some doctors caused wounds and augmented the injuries of some of the wounded in order to aggravate their conditions and take their pictures to mislead people about the real facts on the ground in Bahrain. Some doctors performed surgeries that were neither necessary nor needed. Foreign correspondents and satellite channel reporters were allowed inside the operation theaters to film the surgeries and used close up and other special effects to dramatize the situation and eventually influence the local and international community.
However, under this inhumane practice, some people who were used by doctors for dramatic effects passed away. Investigations have so far identified two such victims:
a. Ali Ahmed Ahmed Abdullah
He was admitted into the Salmaniya Medical Complex on 17 February 2011 after he sustained an injury to his thigh. He underwent a surgery in the presence of the media in the operating theater . However, for the sake of media drama, the surgeon added several wounds to the patient's body. The injured area was deliberately expanded, which caused a hemorrhage that could not be controlled. The patient was transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) where he died on the same day.
b. Abdulridha Mohammed Hassan:
He was admitted on 17 February 2011 after he was shot in the head. He underwent a surgery in the presence of the media in the operating theater. For the sake of media effects, an unnecessarily large incision was opened in the head, which caused an uncontrollable hemorrhage. Cotton was used to stop the bleeding and covered with a dressing. The patient was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where he died two days later.
Investigations have revealed that a consultant who was in charge of an important room within the Emergency Department had issued orders to the doctors to give Atropine to those who suffered from dyspnea and convulsions. This order resulted in the aggravation of the cases as the drug stimulates the heart rate. The purpose was to show that the tear gas used by the police to disperse crowds was not allowed internationally.
Cases were admitted into the Salmaniya Medical Complex after they breathed tear gas. The cases claimed that their bodies were covered with a white substance. Investigations revealed that the substance was Moxal, which is normally used to reduce acidity in the stomach and treat heartburns. It has no medical use in preventing asphyxia.
Medicine and medical equipment that were the property of the Salmaniya Medical Complex were stolen and transferred to other locations in a blatant violation of the laws and regulations.
Investigations revealed that the defendants took bags from the Blood Bank at the Salmaniya Medical Complex which were used by demonstrators to splatter blood on their bodies and claim that they were injured.
Large quantities of medication and medical equipment were transported to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Roundabout.
Defendants forced their colleagues, nurses and paramedics who were not under their orders to work under these conditions and did not allow them to behave otherwise.
In addition to all this, the Salmaniya Medical Complex was transformed into a prison where security men and foreigners, particularly Asians, who had been kidnapped, were detained by their kidnappers who had links with the defendants.
The Salmaniya Medical Complex was also used to store weapons. An inspection of the hospital following the termination of the occupation found several fire weapons and ammunition as well as sharp weapons (swords and knives) and incendiary devices (Molotov cocktails).
Ambulances that were under the control of the defendants were used for non-medical purposes. Investigations have revealed that they were used to support demonstrators and rioters in their criminal activities:
Ambulances were used to transport demonstrators and their weapons to various locations in Bahrain to attack citizens. They were also used in such a manner during the incidents at the University of Bahrain.
Ambulances were used to transport kidnapped hostages to the Salmaniya Medical Complex where they were detained before they were moved to the GCC Roundabout.
Ambulances were used to transport medication and medical equipment stolen from the Salmaniya Medical Complex.
Ambulances were used behind the unlicensed rallies and at the GCC Roundabout without any specific purpose. This resulted in delays in rescuing or helping citizens and in some cases in not providing assistance at all, as attested by citizens' complaints.
Ambulances repeatedly drove through the city with their sirens wailing and warning lights flashing without any call for assistance. The purpose was to give the impression there are new casualties and dramatize the situation.
The number of defendants who have been questioned is now 47, including 24 doctors and 23 nurses and paramedics. The military prosecution has leveled the following charges against them:
Refusal to extend assistance to a person in need, embezzlement of public funds, assault that resulted in death, unauthorized possession of weapons and ammunition, refusal to perform duties and putting people's lives and health at risk, illegal detention, abuse of authority to suspend and stall laws and regulations, attempt to occupy buildings by force, incitement to the forceful overthrow of a political regime, incitement to the hatred of a regime, incitement to the hatred of a segment of society, dissemination of false news and malicious rumors that could harm public interest and participation in unauthorized rallies and meetings. The investigations are continuing.
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BNA 1948 GMT 2011/05/03
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Last updated : 11 : 00 PM - 03/05/2011