Bahrain 'protest doctors' to be tried

2011-05-03 14:00
Manama - Bahrain's justice minister says several doctors and nurses who treated injured anti-government protesters during months of unrest in the Gulf kingdom will be tried in a military court.

Khaled bin Ali Al Khalifa says 23 doctors and 24 nurses face several protest-related charges, including participating in attempts to topple the Sunni monarchy.

He listed the charges at a press conference in the capital Manama on Tuesday.

Dozens of doctors, nurses and other medical staff have been in custody since March, when the king declared martial law to crush Shi'ite dissent.

International rights groups say Bahrain is targeting medical professionals who treated injured demonstrators at the Salmaniya medical centre, which was later overrun by the military.

Earlier on Tuesday a member of the Al-Wefaq Shi'ite main opposition group said Bahraini authorities had arrested two former MPs from the group.

No information

Matar Matar and Jawad Fayruz were taken from their homes on Monday evening, former MP Hadi al-Mousawi said.

He said about 20 masked gunmen in plainclothes stormed the house of Fayruz in Hamad Town, and took him away after searching the building.

Matar was taken from his home in the village of Deih west of Manama, he added.

"We do not have any information about them" said Mousawi, adding that Fayruz's family went to a police station and reported that masked gunmen had taken him away.

"We do not know why the two (former) MPs have been arrested... It is strange that they have arrested them this way when they could have summoned them normally," he said.

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