Dr Abdulkhaliq MD ABIM, aged 40, is a doctor specialised in internal medicine and rheumatology, working as a rhematology specialist at the Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) in Bahrain.
He is also:
- The past vice president of the Bahrain Medical Society;
- The past president of the Resident Doctors in Bahrain;
- A past clinical tutor at the College of Medicine Arabian Gulf University;
- A member of the training committee of the Department of Medicine (SMC);
- Co-ordinator of the scientific activities of the Rheumatology Unit (SMC);
- A member of many charitable institutions in Bahrain.
He is married with three children, aged 12, 8 and 4.
Dr Aloraibi was arrested on 1st April 2011 and then sentenced on 29th September to 15 years in prison on the following charges:
- Occupying the biggest public hospital by the use of force.
- Promoting the overthrow of the political system of the State by force.
- Participation in unauthorized rallies and meetings.
- Discrimination in patients’ care.
- Stealing medical equipment and medications.
- Broadcasting false information to international media.
- Hiding information about the use of weapons by some of the doctors.
Doctors In Chains received this testimony from Dr Aloraibi:
“Arrest and treatment in prison:
On the day of the main crisis in Bahrain (16th March), I was at home when I heard about the second attack on the Pearl Roundabout, so I got ready to go to hospital to help injured patients but I found the riot and military personnel surrounding my village with tanks just 100 meters from my house and they prevented me from going to the hospital by closing the road and asked me to go back. On the same day me and my wife decided to move to my father’s house in the middle of our area living with my three kids in a small room. I was able to go to work in hospital only for one week after crisis with a completely unhealthy situation as the army were in and around the hospital.
My arrest was violent and aggressive at my father home on 1st April 2011 around 3.30 AM and in front of my whole family. Approximately more than 40 unknown masked face civilians and unidentified riot police personnel and most of them carrying guns -without any arrest permit – entered all the rooms and destroyed some doors .They took phones, laptop and official documents that have not been returned yet .
They asked me if I am A.khaliq and once I answered; they dragged me down the stairs outside the home and there were around 30 civilians and police cars (according to real witnesses) surrounding the home. Then they took me in pyjamas, bare footed, back handcuffed and blindfolded in civilian car. I was beaten by several people; approximately 4 in this car until it reach the unknown place.
There, I was subjected to violent torture of various kind including physical, psychological, sexual and aggressive verbal attacks on my religious beliefs. I was kept standing handcuffed and blindfolded for the whole day for nearly 8 days. As a result, I developed deep cut wound in the left wrist with loss of sensation of the left hand.
I was beaten with rubber hose, kicks and punch and slaps mainly on the head and back with slaps on the ears. I was forced under aggressive violence with other detainees to dance, deprived of sleep for nearly 8 days and I was sexually harassed during those days along with hearing the scream of others being tortured.
I was beaten with my colleagues aggressively before and after interrogations on several occasions while taken together to the office of the interrogation director as a group of medics by several persons and during which I was blind folded continuously -but I could hear them screaming from pain- and no specific charges were pointed to me. I was forced to sign pages without reading that.
I came to know subsequently that I was in the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID), from hearing the conversations of people working there especially while answering the telephone.
On day 9 of arrest, I was taken to a detention center- I know later that I was in Dry Dock- and the torture continued even more violently for continuous 5 days along with other detainees during which I was back handcuffed and blindfolded .During these 5 days, I was prevented from praying for 2 days then I was prayed with back handcuffed and blindfolded for another 3 days.
Also, during this period, I was sleeping on the ground in a cold place without mattress, pillow or cover, and was awakened by shoe kicks on my head, back and legs and once one of them stepped with his shoe on my head while sleeping and kept crushing my head to the ground. I was kept with same clothes with negligence of personal hygiene for almost 19 days.
During those days I was witness to the torture of detainee where he reflects, shouting Praise be to God, following which, the torture, blind folding and hand cuffing were stopped immediately and learned that the person has died which invited them to stop the agony.
Later on, I was taken several times to the CID with other doctors where we were forced and threatened to register and imaging confessions and stories – that had never occurred in real life – in front television camera in presence of each other for approximately 12 hours
The condition in the prison improved dramatically in the form of no more verbal abuse, frequent regular officials’ family visits with phone calls, availability of books and papers and sports practice? Yes, It was preparation for official visit of Mr.Bassiouni and his committee i.e. Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI).
Trial by military court:
On 6/6/2011 at 4.00 am, I was taken back handcuffed, blind folded to an unknown place – with other 28 medics – who were subjected to physical attacks and verbal abuses by the security personnel’s.
5 hours later, we discovered that we are in a military court and despite the eagerness to our families, we were shocked by their presence there as it is the first time we see them since arrest. We did not even know our lawyers; therefore, my lawyer was introducing himself to me for the first time inside the court as I was allowed to see him and my family for the first time simultaneously for 10 minutes only.
Although the Occupying the public hospital by the use of force was not mentioned to me during interrogations, I was surprised when I hear it for the first time in military court and I was more surprising because the judge said that there are also weapons with some of our colleagues.
This clearly reflect that during my arrest and detention, I was denied any access to my lawyer and my family and even during the court sessions, I was allowed to see my lawyer for10 minutes only.
The subsequent court sessions were continued till I was sentenced to 15 years in prison as a result of the unfair charges and processes.
On 23rd October, 20 medics including me went back to court:
- Although the Public Prosecution dropped 3 of the lesser charges and stated that a retrial would begin, starting on 28th November. Public Prosecution statment on 23 Oct 2011 distributed in Appeal Court
- It is clearly mentioned by lawyers that this is an appeal and not a retrial and the charges that were dropped will not changes the sentences. Arabic & English Medics’ Lawyers statment in reply to PP statement on 23 October 2011
I absolutely denied all these charges and refuted by:
More than 40 witnesses, Sunni and Shiate including doctors, paramedics, nurses and others had testified that the hospital was never under occupation at any moment of the crisis in Bahrain from the period 17th Feb – 16th March.
Official interview and statement for:
- H.E. the Minister of Health at Bahrain TV on 9th March 2011 stating clearly that the hospital services are running smoothly in normal way and patients are accessing the hospital without any difficulties. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILi3COUIULI
- Assistant under secretary for hospital services at the Ministery of Health, Dr. Amin Al-Saati stating clearly that the hospital services are running normally, except for 5 days where there are injured protestor brought to emergency and Administration was always existed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq-y0JLft34
The trial is illegal and has no basis because of:
- The interrogation, confessions were all under threat and torture.
- Absence of my lawyer during interrogation and confessions.
- Illegal process and trial was documented by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry.
- We are doctors treating patients as per our medical rules without discrimination and without regard to any sectarian considerations.
- I would like to thank all the good efforts and unlimited support we have received from international media, human rights organizations, friends, family members, our lawyers, witness who tell the truth and people of Bahrain.
- I appeal to human rights organizations and the medical associations worldwide to closely monitor these unfair trials and the pressure to drop all charges and stop such trial that have distorted the reputation of Bahrain and human rights.”
On 14th June 2012 Dr Aloraibi’s sentence was reduced to one month following an appeal hearing. Since he has already spent this much time in jail he is not expected to return to prison. However his conviction should be overturned, he needs to be reinstated to his work, and paid fair compensation since he is innocent and his human rights have been violated.
You may wish to post a message of support here for Dr Aloraibi using the form below. Note that all messages will be moderated and any that are abusive or damaging will not be published, as this family has suffered enough already.
You can also read Dr Ali Al Ekri’s personal testimony here.