Trial resumes for Bahraini doctors

Trial resumes for Bahraini doctors The trial resumed Monday of dozens of Bahraini doctors and nurses accused of working to undermine the Arab country's government during mass protests earlier this year, with seven additional witnesses taking the stand. Prosecutors claim the accused took over the Salmaniya Medical Complex in Manama, stored and funneled weapons to protesters and effectively kept people prisoner. But the medical staff members, their lawyers and international human rights activists have said that the defendants were tortured to extract confessions. According to reports from Physicians for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch and Doctors Without Borders, witnesses said security forces stormed the capital city's main hospital where they fired tear gas and other chemical agents and beat doctors and demonstrators. Bahraini officials have denied such allegations. The testimony Monday focused on what happened in and around the hospital -- "both on an administrative and security level" -- at the height of the unrest, according to a report from the state-run Bahrain News Agency, or BNA. The judge also heard about the medical complex's emergency procedures, as well as information on the whereabouts between February 14 and March 17 of some of those charged. According to the BNA report, one person questioned claimed that a hospital staff member gave out bags of blood to other staff members, so they could be given to protesters to splash on themselves. One witness claimed that Dr. Ali Al Ekri coordinated the distribution of knives to protesters by ambulance, thus evading security personnel. The witness testified five meetings devoted to aiding demonstrators were held in the surgeon's clinic, where prosecutors have said that two automatic rifles, ammunition and hospital knives were found. Trial resumes for Bahraini doctors

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