Press Release – for Immediate Release
Unison’s National Health Executive declare solidarity with Bahrain Medics and Nurses
· Manchester Health Workers bring to our streets the National Unison Health Executive call for the Bahrain Medics to be freed
· Solidarity Vigil and Protest outside Manchester Royal Infirmary, Wilmslow Road, Manchester, 12.30 – 14.00, Friday 25th November
· Bahrain Revolution Conference, 17th December, Friends Meeting House, Manchester
This Friday, 25th November, the National Executive of the health workers union, UNISON Health, is backing Manchester’s show of solidarity with the Medics of Bahrain. This is part of the International Campaign that will be holding a series of actions across the globe on this day.
On October 1st , 20 medical professionals in Bahrain were imprisoned by military court for between 5 to 15 years for attending to people who had been wounded by the regime. The Kingdom of Bahrain, ruled by the Al Kaleefa Family, has no independent judiciary.
On November 28th , following an international campaign, the Bahraini Medics now face a 're-trial' in a 'civilian court' in Bahrain.
Karen Reissmann, a Greater Manchester nurse who sits on the National Executive of UNISON, one of Britain's largest trades unions for health workers that is now supporting the campaign says: “The medics in Bahrain were right to treat all the protesters with injuries inflicted after they were attacked while campaigning for justice and democracy. Nurses and health workers in Britain, and right across the world, are outraged at these draconian sentences. All the medics should be released and all the charges dropped.'
A. Shaheed Al Markhi, aged 34 (photo below, left), who is now based in London having been granted asylum, was working as a specialist nurse at the Salmaniya Medical Complex in Bahrain on 17th February when the people at the main roundabout in the capital of Bahrain were first attacked by the regime, and again when the roundabout was attacked for the second time on Sunday, 13th March, 2011. On that day the National Safety Law was announced and the hospital was besieged.
Many casualties arrived at his hospital and he says: “Despite the complicated situation, the medics were able to successfully treat casualties throughout this period. However, they did not assume any political roles. Instead, their roles were completely professional, in that they followed the Hippocratic Oath and treated all members of the society who were injured, without discrimination and sectarianism.”
Rula Al-Saffar, (photo below, right) President of Bahrain Nursing Society and still in Bahrain says: "We need you to show your solidarity … to put pressure on the government of Bahrain and the Minister of Health who is also the Minister of Human Rights in Bahrain to release our medics. As Martin Luther King stated, ‘our lives begin to end the day we became silent about things that matter’, it is time to act before it becomes too late.”
The vigil outside the Manchester Royal Infirmary on Oxford Road Manchester this Friday 25th November is being supported by Manchester's Bahrain Solidarity Group which includes the Bahrainis Association for Freedom and the Manchester-based Human Rights organisation, RAPAR .
These two organisations are also supporting the second conference about Bahrain to be held in Manchester this year. It will be on 17th December at Friends Meeting House and will include a line up of international speakers.
Mark Krantz, Bahrain Solidarity Group, 07765 122 829
Abdul Shaheed Al Markhi, Bahrainis Association for Freedom, 07759790418or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Full background: http://bahrainjdm.hopto.org/?cat=277
- Petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/freebahrainmedics/
- International Call for Protests: http://bahrainjdm.hopto.org/?p=966
- Bahrain’s Independent Commission of Inquiry. A path to justice of political shield? http://www.rapar.org.uk/5/post/2011/11/bahrains-independent-commission-of-inquiry-a-path-to-justice-or-political-shield.html