Bahrain's Medics Politicised by Crisis


A group of Bahraini health workers have found themselves on the frontlines of a battle over medical neutrality as the aftershocks of the Arab Spring continue to rumble through the Gulf island kingdom.

In theory, medical neutrality is a simple concept: physicians must be allowed to care for the sick and wounded; soldiers must receive care regardless of their political affiliations; and all parties must refrain from attacking and misusing medical facilities, transport, and personnel.

Violations constitute a crime under the Geneva Conventions.

But for the medics who have been caught up in the unrest that swept Bahrain since February 2011, what is a simple principle has become a far more complex and sometimes terrifying dilemma.

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