Terror-Based Health Care in Bahrain…………..

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Bahrain, the tiny but strategically important Persian Gulf monarchy that has sought for months to suppress an Arab Spring-inspired uprising, is engaged in a heated dispute with one of the world’s foremost medical relief organizations, which has stopped working there after accusing Bahraini security forces of raiding its premises last week. The accusation by the organization, Doctors Without Borders, has been challenged by Bahrain’s Health Ministry. But the sensitivities surrounding the dispute over the July 28 raid speak to what human rights activists call a particularly odious aspect of the Bahraini protests: the government’s systematic effort to deny medical services to wounded protesters — partly by jailing or intimidating the doctors, nurses and paramedics who have tried to treat them. Many medical workers in Bahrain are often too frightened to help protesters, activists say, and the wounded themselves are often too frightened to seek help………

Bahrain’s Ministry of Health early on became notorious for lying about the numbers and conditions of the wounded during the protests. It looks like the ministry has not changed in this respect, and in that it is in line with most other government agencies. Hospitals, especially the Salmaniya Hospital were early on targeted by the Bahrain regime, knowing that a vast number of protesters and others were wounded during the uprising. Being wounded was considered evidence of being a regime opponent, and a reason to be tortured and denied medical care. Checkpoints were used to identify anyone wounded and whisk them away for interrogation (some were beaten on the spot by security agents and foreign mercenaries). That caused many injured Bahrainis to remain at home rather than venture out, even if they were not injured at the protests. Early on, the regime focused on medical professionals, but quickly expanded its “attention” to other professions like teachers, journalists and others.