Detention of medics in Bahrain

 

Sir, – I wish to congratulate Prof Damien McCormack (October 19th) for his courageous comments on the situation in Bahrain. As he correctly states, Irish-trained doctors have been illegally detained, tortured and convicted of the “crime” of treating injured anti-government protesters.

Although media attention has drifted away from Bahrain, these colleagues remain under sentence and their treatment has been roundly condemned by the United Nations and multiple human rights organisations.

Regrettably, as Prof McCormack also points out, a number of Irish medical institutions have disgraced themselves in their reaction to these events. Truly, it beggars belief that representatives of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland paid social visits to the leaders of the brutal Bahraini regime in the same week that their own graduates had their convictions upheld by a kangaroo court.

Throughout this entire episode, the leadership of the Irish medical profession has failed to consistently and unequivocally condemn a savage regime that has incarcerated and tortured doctors. Much opprobrium has deservedly attached itself to the RCSI, but the muted response and lengthy silence of both the Irish Medical Organisation and the Royal College of Physicians in recent times must also be highlighted.

The Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee has, in the past, investigated these issues and the behaviour of certain Irish medical institutions with respect to Bahrain. I urge them to revisit this matter and to hold members of our profession to account for their actions and inactions during the course of this scandal. – Yours, etc,

Dr RUAIRI HANLEY,

Kilskyre,

Kells, Co Meath.