Saturday, April 23, 2011

Reports from Bahrain underscore the increasing emptiness of the basic human-rights protections of the Geneva Conventions


This photo accompanied Independent Health Editor Jeremy Laurance's report on "Bahrain's secret terror," with the caption: "Medical staff of the Salmaniya Medical Complex rush a victim of the clashes between security forces and opposition protesters to the hospital in Manama, Bahrain." Laurance's report makes shocking claims about the "treatment" being received by the doctors who are supposed to treat the protesters.

by Ken

There's so much craziness going on at the moment in so many places that I for one can't begin to keep track of it. I'm gathering that reliable information isn't easy to come by from Bahrain, which I assume means -- given that the force doing the most to put the lid on information is the government engaged in ruthless suppression of protests -- that the reality is worse than most anything we've heard.

Still . . .

You think you've heard it all, but this? A government engaged in an all-out terror war against physicians treating the wounded??? Here's the start of a report by The Independent's health editor published yesterday.
The 'disappeared'

Bahrain's secret terror

Desperate emails speak of 'genocide' as doctors who have treated injured protesters are rounded up

By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor

The Independent's caption: "A wounded Shia man is treated in Salmaniya hospital in the Bahraini capital, Manama."

The intimidation and detention of doctors treating dying and injured pro-democracy protesters in Bahrain is revealed today in a series of chilling emails obtained by The Independent.

At least 32 doctors, including surgeons, physicians, paediatricians and obstetricians, have been arrested and detained by Bahrain's police in the last month in a campaign of intimidation that runs directly counter to the Geneva Convention guaranteeing medical care to people wounded in conflict. Doctors around the world have expressed their shock and outrage.

One doctor, an intensive care specialist, was held after she was photographed weeping over a dead protester. Another was arrested in the theatre room while operating on a patient.

Many of the doctors, aged from 33 to 65, have been "disappeared" – held incommunicado or at undisclosed locations. Their families do not know where they are. Nurses, paramedics and ambulance staff have also been detained.

Emails between a Bahraini surgeon and a British colleague, seen by The Independent, describe in vivid detail the threat facing medical staff as they struggle to treat victims of the violence. They provide a glimpse of the terror and exhaustion suffered by the doctors and medical staff.

Bahraini government forces backed by Saudi Arabian troops have cracked down hard on demonstrators since the unrest began on 15 February – and the harshness of their response has now been extended to those treating the injured. . . .

There's a lot more to the report, including excerpts from those "desperate emails" speaking of genocide, but based on just this much . . . sheesh!

Referencing the Geneva Conventions apparently is becoming hopelessly quaint. More and more, they don't even seem to have the weight of guidelines. And of course nobody did more to advance this condition of humanization than the U.S. of A. under those high princes of international legal perversion, Chimpy the Prez Bush and his handler, "Big Dick" Cheney. With, of course, a generous assist to the savagely ignorant American public that either yawned or actively cheered on their rampage against basic human rights. The Obama administration's record hasn't been quite as vociferously ghastly, but in the clutch, when it comes to actual enforcement, its performance has been so Bush-like as to provide little encouragement.

It's not as if the moral and legal perverts of the Bush regime weren't warned: When you don't respect the Geneva Conventions, you have no reason to hope for the protection of the Geneva Conventions.

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At 8:34 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Yeah, me, we heard some pretty talk during the campaign, but when it comes to the doing, this is one of those areas where it's hard to tell the Obama administration from the Bush regime.

Of course the Teabaggers consider any talk about human-rights abuses sissified if not actually socialist.


At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our personal dislikes or feelings of having been betrayed, no matter how sincere and righteous, become horribly counterproductive only when we vote for someone far worse than the incumbent disappointment.

Those dislikes and feelings of betryal are made productive when we actually work for the kind of candidate and policies we WANT, not when we pee our pants and vote for right wingers who intentionally do far worse than the incumbent disappointment's compromises.

The anarchistic creative destruction principle doesn't work in politics and government. It only makes things far worse than they ever need to get, and postpones good policies and good government indefinitely. Time to grow past the emotional five-year-old we all become when things don't turn out exactly the way we like.
- L.P.

At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All that being said, I really like Glenn Greenwald's column headline I saw today, "Nobel Peace Drones".
- L.P.


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