Summary of Doctors’ Defence Pleadings presented in court on 10th of May
This is the translated summary of the court hearing of the 20 medics which took place on 10th May 2012.
The most important points:
• Media war against medics & defamation continues.
• Human right violations & torture practiced against medics never practiced in any other country all over the world.
• Systematic torture proved in BICI report.
• Military court verdict is invalid because of deficiency in causation of the verdict (the verdict convicted the defendants before talking about the basis or the evidence of convicting them).
• Evidence is mutually supportive and complementary,combined together help the court to develop faith & confidence ,but if one evidence is dropped or ruled out, then the court has to review again the remaining evidence. The prosecution dropped the confessions of the defendants,which proves they were extracted under torture.
• Torture of medics is proved by the medical reports of the forensic doctors belonging to prosecution itself & the forensic doctors brought by Bassiouni 1230: There was a more discernible pattern of mistreatment with regard to certain categories of detainees, including some of the medical personnel arrested in connection with the events at SMC and the 14 political leaders held at Al Qurain Prison. In many of these cases, the purpose of mistreatment was to obtain statements or confessions incriminating the detainee in question.
• Most medics have filed a complaint regarding torture which is still under investigation,so any verdict other than innocence will be fraught with defect as long as the investigation of torture is not over yet.
• The arrest procedure is illegal as there was no warrant,this was proved in Bassiouni report (1178. In conclusion, the Commission finds that a substantial number of the arrests made pursuant to the pattern described above violated international human rights law and Bahrain law. In particular, security forces carried out the arrests without presenting an arrest or search warrant. The Commission finds that in many cases, the manner in which the arrest was performed involved unnecessary excessive force, accompanied by terror-inspiring behaviour on the part of the security forces in addition to unnecessary damage to property. All of these factors reveal a failure to follow the appropriate procedures identified by the MoI and NSA).
• The court infers the occupation of hospital to non existing testimonies attributed to the prosecution witnesses, who are working in the hospital but never said in their testimony that there was any occupation .
• The only witness for the occupation and possession of weapons is Mubarak Bin Huwail whose testimony is unreliable as he is an officer in drug department ,he is the interrogator who performed the illegal arrests and he is the torturer, besides he mentioned he collected his evidence from his confidential resources,which he refused to uncover in front of the court for the seak of justice, so will the court still accept him as a witness?
• Inaccuracy of investigations by the prosecution led to so many mistakes comitted by them:
1. they accused the defendants of occupying a hospital without knowing how many gates this hospital has, or who and who is not working in the hospital,e.g Dr Nada Dhaif doesn’t work in the hospital but they described her as part of hospital staff.
2. they failed to review the surveillance cameras present in the hospital (28 available according to hospital administrator who was a defence witness).if these cameras were not use to uncover the crime of occupation then what purpose they can be used for?
3. regarding the weapons,they gave 3 stories: Bin Huwail says he found the weapons on 16th of March at 4pm in the ceiling of the refrigeration room number 4117 located in Wards 45 and 46 on the fourth floor of the old building. In another story Bin Huwail tells Bassiouni the found the weapons on 19th of March, then comes the prosecution video in court showing that they found the weapons on 18th of March at 23 hrs.( Bassiouni 841. The Commission finds the allegations that medical personnel assisted the demonstrators in the form of supplying them with weapons to be unfounded. The only evidence presented to the Commission supporting such allegations consists of pictures provided by the GoB showing two Kalashnikovs on the floor of SMC. These photographs, whose sources cannot be authenticated, do not connect the two weapons to the medical personnel). Prosecution couldn’t prove any relation between the weapons they claimed they found and any of the defendants. All weapons they brought to court were uncovered and touched freely by police showing it in court.
• Testimonies of prosecution witnesses all came in favor of the defendants, all negated occupation of hospital, all confirmed that the administration was there , all chairpersons remained in their positions,disaster plan was activated by administration,non was prevented from doing his or her job or from entering the hospital,non saw any of the defendants discriminating between patients.Dr Jassim Almehza ,chairman of Emergency Department prosecution witness, witnessed that all Asians brought to A&E were treated by emergency doctors, non taken as hostage ( Bassiouni 754. The Head of the Emergency Section testified that on that day 16 expatriates were transferred from SMC to BDF hospital to receive the necessary treatment and that none of these individuals were held at SMC against their will. In addition, there was one expatriate who had suffered a fracture of the right shoulder and was operated upon by one of the accused doctors and another doctor.)
• Most of the chargese adopted by the prosecution are vague and without basis.once they say the defendants attempted to occupy the hospital, other times they say they controlled the hospital without mentioning the role of each and every person. If there was a crime the administration would have informed the security and not waited a full month till mubarak Bin Huwail discovered it.
• The CD which the prosecution presented to the court as an evidence of occupation was showing strangers (mainly protesters gathering in the emergency car park,non of them from the accused).
• The CD presented by the defendants showed people known to everybody: the minister of health visiting the hospital and saying don’t follow roomers everything is normal,his visit was aired on Bahrain TV and written about in the local newspapers,the assistant undersecretary present in the hospital together with other administrators and saying all places in hospital were working normally.
• The prosecution in his video allege that the medics ruined the ambulances and used them to block the hospital gates while the reality was that the ambulances were shot by the security forces with live ammunition in the village of Mameeer, then this ambulance was brought by a mobile crane to Salmaniya hospital and kept outside by order of security. This was confirmed by the assistant undersecretary Sayed Jaffer ( defence witness) who was in the ambulance when they were shot by the security forces,they took them forcefully out of the ambulance, himself and Mr Mohammed Abdulrahim, chief of ambulances (prosecution witness) who was hit very badly by security forces.
• Prosecution witnesses confirmed that the hospital administration is the one who erected the medical tent in front of the emergency car park in order to help accommodate the huge number of injured,this was also confirmed in Bassiouni report (832 The Commission has evidence to the effect that the tent erected at the GCC Roundabout was officially authorised and supplied by the MoH. It should also be noted that there is no claim that what was performed in these two tents was not within the intended purpose of providing assistance to injured persons).
• Dr Nezar Albaharna , previous health minister ,negated the presence of any Asian hostages in Salmaniya hospital on a Bahrain TV interview,he said he himself is inside the hospital and all what is said are roomers,patients were being treated there equally without discrimination and as a matter of fact the medical staff were attacked by security forces,some of them were admitted to hospital for treatment.
• The prosecution in its pleading used an insulting language describing the doctors with shame,so the lawyers requested to drop such description from the prosecution statement.
• On one hand the prosecution accuses the doctors of contempt of one sect while they themselves insult one whole sect when they talked badly about those wearing turban, which represent Shiite religion.
• All the defence witnesses like Dr Adil Bucheeri (chairman of paediatric department, a consultant intensivist and a member of the command center team) Mr Jaffer Subber (assistant undersecretary for finance), Mr Ahmed Alam (an administrator ) ,Dr Ali Jaffer Aradi (consultant orthopedic surgeon and ex president of Bahrain medical association) and so many other consultants negated the occupancy of the hospital by the accused doctors, confirmed that they received orders from hospital administration, not from the accused doctors, none saw any weapons in the hospital, the command center was run by the undersecretary Dr Awadhi, none saw the accused doctors discriminating between patients.
• The prosecution in its pleadings say the doctors planned to occupy the hospital after the first murdered victim, so were they actually able to hold the murderer accountable?
• The medics protests were to object the crime of preventing the ambulances from reaching the injured and the attacks by security forces on doctors, nurses and paramedics which was also confirmed in Bassiouni report (843. The Commission could establish that medical staff members were attacked on their way to and from the GCC Roundabout. The Commission could establish that such attacks were carried out by security forces), (678 An impromptu demonstration occurred in the SMC car park, with some medical personnel and doctors participating. The protesters criticised the Minister of Health, as detailed later in this section). The King did respond to these protests by dismissal of the health minister, which is a very rare incidence in Bahrain to dismiss a minister based on protests.
• Prevention of ambulances was proved in the defence video presented to the court, a recording of the voice of the officer of ministry of interior telling the ambulance staff don’t send the ambulance to the roundabout, even if you send it it will be returned. This was also stated in Bassiouni report (844. With respect to the use of ambulances, it is confirmed that there were restrictions on access imposed by different actors such as the authorities, the police and the SMC administration).
• Defence team presented a letter from Dr Mariam Aljalahma, the assistant undersecretary for primary health care in which she thanks and praises all doctors for doing their duties in treating patients all over Bahrain in different health facilities during the crisis.
• Yes they were appreciated by torture,detention and convicting them in courts.
• Salmaniya Medical Complex,a 1000 bed hospital, with 5000 staff, thousands of patients going in and out everyday,19 internal gates, 9 external, 28 surveillance cameras, in addition to the presence of the college of health sciences in its vicinity, a fact making it impossible to imagine that 20 medics, including 6 females, attempted to occupy such a huge building, it is madness to believe so.
• Initial Bassiouni report, the Arabic version did contain a paragraph stating that medics were holding Bahrain flag containing 12 points, which was later removed after editing the Arabic version when it did not match the English one, then who added that paragraph?
• Bassiouni report (847 Finally, it is established that on 16 March 2011, the BDF took control of the entire complex and placed some injured persons, whom it sought to keep under its control, on the sixth floor of SMC)
• Bassiouni report (847. As a general overall conclusion, despite conflicting narratives of certain events, it appears that SMC continued to function throughout the events of February and March).
• Lawyers presented statistics for the number of admissions,operations , deliveries ,including patients from different nationalities and different areas of Bahrain that took place during the crisis in Salmaniya hospital, proving that the work inside hospital was not affected except when army seized the hospital.
• The prosecution objected that and accused the defence of stealing these statistics while they should be the one to present these statistics if they consider themselves concerned about the defendants.