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Public Prosecutor’s Statement on Medical Staff Trials
06 : 06 PM - 02/10/2011
Manama, Oct. 2. (BNA) – The Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) Public Military Prosecutor Colonel Doctor Yusuf Rashid Flaifal today released details about the National Safety Lower Court ruling in the cases of the medical personnel charged with crimes in the Salmaniya Medical Complex in February and March of this year. The Prosecutor's case hinged on the following narrative that was put together from the investigation of evidence (including video and photographs), testimony and confessions.


According to the prosecutor's case Dr. Ali Al-Ekri was the primary ringleader among a group of doctors and nurses, who politicized and occupied Bahrain's largest hospital (Salmaniya Medical Complex), chanted anti-government slogans, and misrepresented the number and nature of casualties in the media, in an attempted coup d'etat. The group first met on February 17, 2011 in the vicinity of the SMC Emergency ward to devise how the hospital and medical staff could be used to support the efforts to topple the Bahraini government underway at the GCC Roundabout.

On the morning of February 18, 2011 Al-Ekri hosted a meeting gathered at Rola Al-Saffar's house that was attended by group of medical staff (including Dr. Saeed Al-Samahiji and Al-Sayyed Marhoon) to discuss developments at the GCC roundabout. They drafted a statement (reviewed by Samahiji and read by Ibrahim Ibrahim) calling for the termination of the then health minister, to be timed with Al-Wefaq Society's filing of an international complaint against the Kingdom of Bahrain. Rola Al-Saffar (Chairperson of the Bahrain Nursing Society) put out a call to escalate the medical staff's political activities at the hospital that day by staging a silent vigil at the SMC courtyard, whilst on duty. Dr. Ghassan Dhaif and Dr. Bassem Dhaif attended the hospital rally along with approximately 500 Health Ministry doctors and personnel, where a statement was read urging the disruption of Bahrain's security and stability.

On February 19, 2011, Al-Ekri and Dr. Nader Diwani met in the SMC Radiology department where they were joined by Dr. Ahmed Al-Omran, Dr. Mahmoud Asghar, Ibrahim Ibrahim, Rola Al-Saffar, Ghassan Dhaif and Bassem Dhaif. They set a meeting for the next day at Al-Ekri's clinic in which they would form committees that would mobilize support for the roundabout anti-regime protests.

Al-Diwani chaired that meeting, attended by Dr. Abdulkhaliq Al-Oraibi among others, and distributed the roles that had been selected for each person. Marhoon was assigned the role of liaising with TV channels, speaking to foreign media in English and following up with local and international newspapers to gauge opinion regarding protests calling for the fall of the government. Al-Oraibi was assigned the role of supervising the medical camp set up at the GCC roundabout following a directive by Al-Ekri to a proposal submitted by Dr. Nada Dhaif (who had been appointed as Al-Ekri's Deputy Secretary-General).

Ibrahim Ibrahim was appointed the Constituent Committee Secretary-General, following these first two meetings. Al-Ekri was chosen to chair the committee whose purpose was to prepare instigative speeches and read anti-government statements from the platform that had been constructed on SMC grounds, inciting doctors and nurses to escalate protests that would prompt the firing of the Minister of Health and his undersecretary, as well as step up the anti-regime campaign.
Al-Safar assumed the task of calling for meetings, rallies, sit-ins and demonstrations via SMS messaging to nurses, in violation of all legal rules and regulations. Qassim Omran was placed in charge of the media committee with Asghar appointed as the group's official spokesman. Fatima Hajji assumed the responsibility of coordinating rescue teams for the protestors rallying at the GCC roundabout.

Ali Al-Sadadi chaired the self-named splinter "Revolutionary Group", connected with the roundabout protestors, whose role was to ensure full control of the Salmaniya Medical Complex. This was seen as being critical in the coup attempt. The Revolutionary Group brought two Kalashnikovs with ammunition, as well as swords, knives and iron rods, into the Salmaniya Medical Complex using ambulances. Al-Ekri coordinated the hiding of these weapons in the hospital, which were to be used in the event that Government security forces attempted to retake control of the hospital.

Al-Ekri gave instructions that all entrances and exits to the hospital be secured, and entry would be controlled based upon criteria established by the group (i.e., members of a specific sect and/or those supporting the anti-government agenda).
Al-Sadadi and the Revolutionary Group agreed to block the hospital doors using ambulances. Furthermore, Al-Ekri appointed Al-Sadadi to set up tents in front of the Emergency section to host activities and demonstrations by doctors, as well as religious scholars and clerics who came on a nightly basis to encourage demonstrations by medical staff aimed as supporting the "February 14 Revolution" in overthrowing the government. Al-Ekri personally allowed and supervised the nightly political speeches by clerics, inciting public anger against the government and calling for changing it to a Federation or Constitutional Monarchy.

Moreover, Al Saffar arranged with Mohammed Faiq Al Shehab (Head Technician at the Blood Bank) for blood to be taken from the hospital Blood Bank without proper authorization to be used by protestors to fabricate graphic pictures and films that were spread through the media. In fact, the media had been given a special section to set up their operations on the second floor of the hospital. This allowed them to be present continuously, filming in hospital corridors, triage areas, treatment rooms and even operating theaters. Fatima Salman Hajji and Hassan Mohammed Saeed assigned non-critical cases to the ICU in order to make the situation look more serious than it was for the media. This was all part of the plan to cast the government of Bahrain in a negative light and bring international support for the protesters and medical staff that had taken over the hospital.

Al-Ekri and Al-Oraibi gave instructions for the organizing of shifts for doctors and nurses for the illegal clinic set up in a tent at the GCC Roundabout in direct contravention of the hospital by-laws. Daih Jaffer took shifts at the roundabout clinic;
participated in the rallies and sit-in at the Salmaniya hospital; made public statements calling for the toppling of the government and destroyed hospital property.

Zahara Al Sammek was involved from the initial meetings called by Al-Ekri and
worked shifts in the illegal clinic set up at the GCC Roundabout, as well as participating in demonstrations at the Salmaniya Medical Complex. Furthermore, she

was appointed to supervise surgical operations on protestors and took part in five surgical operations that were undertaken illegally. These operations were recorded by media film crews violating medical ethics and the patients’ rights.

The court weighed all proof submitted in support of the charges, as well as the confessions made by the accused themselves along with witness statements. The verdicts can be appealed in the civilian Court of Cassation. The sentences are as follows:

.1-Dr. Ali Al-Ekri (15 Years imprisonment)

2-Dr. Nader Diwani (15 Years imprisonment)

3-Dr. Ahmed Abdul Aziz Omran (15 Years imprisonment)

4-Dr. Mahmoud Asghar (15 Years imprisonment)

5- Rola Al Saffar (15 Years imprisonment)

6-Dr. Abdulkhaleq Al-Oraibi (15 Years imprisonment)

7-Dr. Ghassan Dhaif (15 Years imprisonment)

8-Dr. Bassim Dhaif (15 Years imprisonment)

9- Sayed Marhoon Al-Wedaie (15 Years imprisonment)

10-Dr. Nada Dhaif (15 Years imprisonment)

11-Dr. Fatima Haji (5 Years imprisonment)

12- Dheya Ibrahim AbuIdris (5 Years imprisonment)

13-Dr. Najah Khalil Al-Haddad (5 Years imprisonment)

14-Dr. Saeed Al-Samahiji (10 Years imprisonment)

15-Dr. Zahra Al-Sammak (5 Years imprisonment)

16-Ali Hassan Alsddi (15 Years imprisonment)

17-Ibrahim Abdullah Ibrahimn (15 Years imprisonment)

18-Hassan Mohammed Said (10 Years imprisonment)

19- Mohammed Faiq Ali (5 Years imprisonment)

20-Qassim Mohammed Omran (15 Years imprisonment)

WHQ

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