Bahrain doesn't have military courts: Minister Justice

Minister Justice Shaikh Khalid Bin Ali with Minister Social Development and Health Dr Fatima Al Balooshi addressing a Press conference at the IAA on Tuesday

Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, the Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs on Tuesday said that there were no military courts in Bahrain rather accused were being tried at National Safety Courts.

The Minister stressed that the administration of justice in Bahrain has never been biased and nobody would be targeted in this ongoing process of fixing the responsibilities on those who tried to choke smooth functioning of the Government machinery.

Shaikh Khalid, who was joined by the Minister of Social Development and the Acting Minister of Health Dr Fatima Al Balooshi, told a Press Conference at the Information Affairs Authority (IAA) on Tuesday that the gross violations have been committed by the doctors and paramedics at the region’s largest and oldest health providing facility Salmaniya Medical Complex.

Citing two examples of cold blooded murders of two Bahrainis to gain a media mileage at vested interest TV channels instead of treating the patients according to the mandate of the noble profession of doctors and nurses.

“A young patient with a thigh injury had suffered at the hands of the criminal minded doctors who deliberately cut the main blood vessels and patient Ali Ahmed Abdulla bled profusely to death. In the second criminal case investigation, Abdulredha Mohammed Hussain who had sustained a head injury was not treated for the wound rather his skull was severed and he also died due to excessive bleeding. These are just few examples of the criminal acts committed by the doctors at the SMC and the massive investigations were on to fix the responsibilities,” he said.

The Minister said that following the unfortunate incidents started on February 14th, SMC had been converted into a ‘den of kidnappers and criminals safe haven’ by a group of doctors and medical staff.

  • “The doctors committed crimes by overlooking their obligations and the oath of the profession as the recovery of weapons, ammunition and sharp edge weapons.”
  • 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 was in their service to enter the hospital and take pictures and film 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.
  • 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 theater 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 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. Abdulridha Mohammed Hassan 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, 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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