Bahrain: Appeal rejected for imprisoned health workers

Nurses and physicians who were providing medical services to anti-government demonstrators in Bahrain were sentenced to up to 15 years of imprisonment last year. Recently nine of them had their appeals rejected.

In 2011, 52 physicians and nurses were arrested by the Bahrain government for providing medical services to anti-government demonstrators and accused of felonies, 20 of whom were convicted and sentenced by Bahraini military court to between 5 and 15 years after a trial lasting a few minutes.

Many of the health care workers were reportedly tortured and forced to sign confessions.

In April this year, PSI released a statement demanding the release of the physicians and nurses and cancellation of charges against health personnel in Bahrain.

In June, nine of the Bahrain medics had their sentences reduced by the Criminal Court of Appeal; two, who remain at large, have their sentences upheld in absentia; and nine others were acquitted.

On October 1, BBC reports that Bahrain's highest court has upheld the prison sentences given to nine of the medics "for their alleged role in last year's pro-democracy protests".