Bahrain: Injured testimonies confirm that the hospital turned into prison

Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights-BYSHR has documented testimonies of some injured of the protests that started on 14 February 2011. BYSHR representatives met with the injured after they had been released from jail. They were arrested from Salmaniya Hospital, the main governmental hospital, and were detained for more than three and a half months.

BYSHR sought the assistance of an independent physician, to examine the patients and report the injuries they suffered.

On 16 March 2011 the army and the National Guard took over of Salmaniya Hospital and arrested the protesters whom gathered in the hospital building. Later a number of doctors were arrested on charges of hospital occupation and the confiscation of Medical equipment.

Salmaniya Hospital is considered one of the witnesses to the human rights violations that took place against protesters since the 14th of February uprising, as thousands of the injured got medical treatment in Salmaniya Hospital due to the suppression of riot police using rubber bullets, tear gas, sound grenades and shot guns. Also, the military used live ammunition to disperse protesters on the 16th of March 2011 – the BYSHR have documented cases where live ammunitions were used.

An injured told the BYSHR: ” I was on the 4th floor in Salmaniya Hospital where I was being treated from a shotgun injury in the head and face – left side – when they transferred me to the 6th floor, and there I was mistreated, insulted, tied to the bed, eye folded and they used offensive words against the Shia and asked us to curse and insult the political opposition leaders”. (1)

And he continues: “I was taken later from the hospital to Noaim Police Station and then to Isa Town Police Station where I was tortured there too.”

Another protestor told (BYSHR)’s representative: “my right eye is injured because of a shotgun explosion besides me; I was taken to the hospital after the army and police took over, I tried to escape but I was arrested in a checkpoint near the hospital gate and I was tortured in an external room – the room of ambulance care assistants and ambulance drivers (attached Picture) – other injured were with me too.” (2)

A wounded by birds gunshots informed BYSHR: “I was injured on 15 March in my back by the ant-riot police. I was transported to Salmaniya Hospital. I was on the fourth floor, afterwards I was transferred to the sixth floor where I was mistreated, tied to the bed, and blindfolded. The doctors avoided talking to us about our cases for fear of the security forces. I was removed in a police car to Isa Town Police Station and was forced to sing the National Anthem and insult the opposition political leaders.”. (3)

The injured refused to mention their names because the charges against them are still valid even after their release.

BYSHR expresses its concern about those allegations and it demands urgent investigation in subjecting the injured to the allegations of mistreatment and torture at Salmaniya Hospital. BYSHR demands the Special Rapporteur on torture the urgent action and investigation of those accusations against the anti-riot police.

(1) Medical examination: Multiple bird shot to the left side of the scalp and face.Cartilaginous damage to the left pinna.Missing segment of upper pinna and scarring and possible retained shot within the ear.Normal ear drum.Unable to fully open jaw due to pain.TMJ appears to be moving in a normal fashion but without full range of movement.

(2) Medical examination:Patient has a bird shot within the upper lid of the left eye on the nasal aspect.Bird shot on the temporal aspect of the upper lid of the right eye.Healing laceration to the right cornea on the lateral border of the iris.Acuity to finger counting only.Fundoscopy looks normal.

(3) Medical examination:
Multiple bird shot entry wounds on the back from upper shoulder area to the feet.More evident on the left side of the body.Laparotomy scar.Tenderness on the left mid axilla chest area .

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