Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bahraini forces target patients: HRW

Salmaniya Medical Complex in the Bahraini capital, Manama

Source: Press TV

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has announced that Bahraini forces are hunting down patients who have been injured by rubber bullets, tear gas and live ammunition during anti-government protests.

"There is absolutely no justification for arresting someone solely because the person might have been wounded in a protest-related incident," Middle East Deputy Director at HRW Joe Stork said in a statement on Wednesday.

"It is against every tenet of humanity to deprive patients of critical and sometimes life-saving medical treatment, causing them grave suffering and perhaps irreparable harm," he noted.

Stork made the remarks after Bahraini security forces took over Salmaniya Medical Complex on March 16 and have ever since used it to identify and arrest the anti-government protesters.

Patients injured by rubber bullets and live ammunition during clashes with government forces are the target of the military.

On Tuesday, the organization also called on the Bahraini government to urgently probe the deaths of people during the crackdown on the anti-regime protests.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay described the seizure of the medical complex as "shocking and an illegal conduct," adding that she was deeply alarmed by the escalation of violence in the crisis-hit country.

Meanwhile, witnesses said Bahraini troops, backed by Saudi forces, attacked the protesters in Diraz, Sanabis, Nuwaidrat and Belad al-Qadeem on Wednesday.

The security forces in the Persian Gulf state have launched a massive crackdown against the anti-government protesters since the uprising began in the country in mid-February.

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