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April 23, 2014

Concern for Bahrain doctors

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Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore

By Dara Gantly.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has said he is “very concerned” about the reports of detention, torture, intimidation and trials of medical professionals in Bahrain, some of whom are Irish-trained, for simply meeting their professional and ethical obligation to attend to those seriously injured in the recent clampdown against protestors.

Tánaiste Gilmore urged the Bahraini government to pursue a “different path” and to allow its citizens to peacefully express grievances, start a genuine dialogue and implement political reforms.

“I understand that 47 doctors and nurses who tried to help those critically injured during the protests will be tried in a military court on charges of acting against the state,” said Minister Gilmore.

“I am also troubled by the broader human rights situation in Bahrain, particularly the death penalty sentences recently handed down to four protestors.”

Responding to questions in the Dáil from Deputies Seán Ó Fearghaíl (FF), Peadar Tóibín (SF) and Gerry Adams (SF) — who were lobbied by IMT columnist Dr Ruairi Hanley — the Tánaiste said it was regrettable that, months after the protests began, the Bahraini government had yet to initiate any meaningful process of dialogue with the protestors.

“I do welcome the announced intention by King Hamad to lift the state of emergency and hope that this takes place in accordance with the timetable set. I also welcome the King’s announcement that a national dialogue, without preconditions, will commence on 1 July and hope this call is fully supported and acted upon by all in Bahrain,” he added.

dara.gantly@imt.ie