Human Rights Organizations Look At Bahrain Verdicts With Blinkers On


A new wind seems lately to be blowing across the corridors of human rights organizations the world over, where any punishment justly meted out to thugs, vandals, terrorists and assassins is vehemently protested. Thus, there are people out to defend the convicted killers of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to save them from the gallows. And there are others who are clamouring to save the armed attackers of Indian parliament who had plans to kidnap the president of India but were foiled albeit with the loss of a number of Indian policemen.

No wonder the human rights organizations, many with a dubious background, are also up to defend the conviction of doctors in Bahrain for their questionable and alarming roles during the recent protests. These doctors had been under trial for some time but from the moment of their arrest, certain lobbies have been relentlessly declaring their innocence.

It is quite interesting to discover that the verbal denials by the medicos, without a shred of written or visible proof in their hands, are being taken as the gospel truth against the videographer, written and oral submissions and testimonies of a range of eyewitnesses, including some of the convicted medicos’ colleagues. But that’s how the dark and illogical world of the so-called human rights organizations function, where the only logic of consequence is that every anti-government element is to be declared innocent and wrongly persecuted no matter how strong the proof against him or her.

The fact of the matter is that the medicos have not been punished for treating the injured protesters as many western media headlines have been trying to make out. It is not as simple as that and if it were, it would be laughable. Which regime would be foolish enough to try people for doing their duty?

The rogue medicos have actually been punished for refusing to treat anyone except those belonging to their sect and set of beliefs; for aggravating the injuries of many patients in order to strengthen their claims before the media of so-called police brutalities; for holding vigils during working hours (and in hospital premises to boot) inciting their colleagues and anybody who would listen to overthrow the regime; and for indulging in nefarious activities such as blocking access to hospital facilities to all but the chosen few. They are also charged with storing arms in the hospital, hijacking ambulances to transport weapons and protesters and even stealing blood bags from the hospital to fabricate incidents by pouring them on protesters and showing the images with the aid of TV channels which were allocated special rooms within the hospital.

These are the elements who are now asking for a UN probe into their convictions.

It is time human rights bodies were questioned as to the basis on which they defend the indefensible. They must be asked to produce evidence contrary to all the concrete proofs placed before the trial courts – oral, written and videographic.

Wonder of wonders, even British Foreign Secretary William Hague, sitting thousands of miles away from Bahrain, and with no evidence he had given more than a couple of minutes’ attention to the subject, has chosen to condemn the convictions. He does not know the facts on the ground, nor does he have access to much of the material before the trial court. He has merely added his voice of dissent to the general hubbub because that seems to be a politically correct and fashionable move in the current climate.

Brij Sharma is an Indian journalist and editor based in Bahrain. Brij tells us the interesting stories we don’t usually hear from the middle east country.