Bahrain: Verdict approaching in case of 20 medics

The appeal verdict in the case of 20 health professionals on trial in Bahrain is scheduled to be announced on 14 June 2012. The 20 are among 48 health professionals from the Salmaniya Medical Complex who were arrested in March and April 2011, and charged with offences ranging from the “illegal possession of firearms for a terrorist purpose”, “attempting to occupy a public hospital using force” and to “attempting to topple the system of government by force” for which they were sentenced to prison terms of between five and 15 years on 29 September 2011 by a military court.Their appeal before the High Criminal Court of Appeal started on 23 October 2011.Many in the group of 20 health professionals allege they were tortured in detention. No independent investigation into their allegations of torture is known to have been made public and no officer responsible for their torture has been brought to justice. Amnesty International believes that if convicted and imprisoned, the 20 would be prisoners of conscience.