Thursday, April 30, 2015
The release of Ibrahim al-Demestani, a nurse imprisoned by Bahraini authorities, is the latest chapter in the government’s ongoing campaign against health professionals. While his release should be celebrated, al-Demestani should never have been imprisoned and forced to complete a three-year sentence in the first place. As protests against repressive governments swept across the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, people living in Bahrain launched peaceful protests. The response was unequivocal: the authorities launched a forceful, bloody crackdown against the largely peaceful protesters. A key element of this crackdown was the targeting of health professionals.