Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Trade and the Irish Diaspora, Seán Crowe TD, yesterday met with a delegation on the worsening human rights situation in Bahrain.
The delegation included human rights lawyers Toby Cadman and Siobhan Flockton, surgeon Prof. Damian McCormack, John O'Brien of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), Tara O’Grady, General Secretary of the Bahrain Rehabilitation and Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO), and a visiting Bahraini lawyer.
Speaking after the meeting Deputy Crowe said:
“The human rights situation in Bahrain would appear to be getting worse with opposition activists being arrested and thrown into jail. Democratic protests have also been attacked and doctors who have treated the wounded have been arrested. The infringement of medical neutrality is a major human rights violation. Doctors should be able to treat any person requiring medical treatment.
“Yesterday’s delegation outlined the case of one of the medics arrested, Doctor Ali Al Ekri, who trained at the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland (RCSI). Just this week his appeal failed and he was sentenced to four and a half years imprisonment. Dr Al Ekri and his colleagues were tortured and abused on a daily basis when they were last in custody.
“They were tortured because they treated wounded Bahrainis who were protesting at the lack of democracy and human rights in their country.
“I am calling on the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, to raise the incarceration of these medics with the Bahraini government, and with his European colleagues. The Tánaiste must press for the release of these medics, who have been brutalised and tortured in Bahraini jails.
“I am also calling on the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland (RCSI) to clarify its relationship with the Bahraini authorities and detail what efforts, if any, it is taking to ensure the safety of its staff and former fellows.”