The High Criminal Court of Appeal in Manama has upheld the conviction of nine health professionals tried for their role in anti-government protests last year, prompting Amnesty International to call on the Bahraini authorities to quash the convictions.
The court reduced the sentences against nine medics, on charges including “calling for the overthrow of the regime by force”, “illegal gathering” and “instigating hatred against another sect” to sentences ranging from one month to five years for their alleged role in the protests. Nine other doctors and nurses were cleared of charges.
“This is a dark day for justice in Bahrain,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“These are politically motivated charges against medical professionals who were working to save lives amid very trying circumstances.”
Another two doctors, who were originally sentenced to 15 years in prison, had their appeal rejected because they were not present during the whole appeal process. The sentences of 15 years in prison imposed against them by a military court still stand until they appeal.