Bahraini Doctors Go Underground
Medical professionals in Bahrain are reportedly practicing underground in makeshift clinics because of government repression. Many also say that the government is monitoring protesters by tracking hospital admissions, and health care workers have been tried in court essentially for treating wounded protesters. One doctor, identifying himself only as Dr. Mohamed, said that he covertly treats severely wounded protesters who are often afraid to go to a hospital, where government soldiers interrogate those who enter. Another doctor cited the sectarian nature of these issues in the medical community: “There is this feeling of mistrust between doctors and doctors, doctors and patients – a division between sects and families.”
On the other hand, the government released an update on its implementation of BICI reforms, including the launch of initiatives to ease sectarian tension. “A number of programs were developed to achieve national reconciliation in many areas…aimed at consolidating the national unity of the members of Bahraini society, based on the concept of citizenship and peaceful coexistence.” The government also released a statement concerning the Bahrain Bloc’s promotion of a document, the “Code of Honor,” which calls for religious pluralism and non-sectarianism. The political bloc of MPs is calling on both Sunni and Shia clerics to sign the document and adhere to its principles.
Andrew Hammond with Reuters writes on the stalling of economic reforms in Bahrain. The reforms were meant to decrease reliance on foreign labor, provide job training for Bahrainis, and attract new investment. Simon Henderson writes on the effect continuing unrest in Bahrain could have on oil exports from the region.