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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
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The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
Featuring the first lunar rover in 40 years, Chang'e-3 is seen as an important milestone on China's quest to send a...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
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Bahrain Hands Down Sentences to Accused Medics
14 June 2012 2:22 pm
International observers are reacting with a mix of relief and anger at the final verdict announced today in Bahrain's highest court in the case of 20 medics accused of fomenting revolution in the Persian Gulf state. While most of the charges were dropped—the prosecution relied on confessions that the medics claim were extracted through torture—the defendants still face jail time ranging up to 5 years.
The verdict is a small victory for the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies. The consortium of scientists, doctors, and engineers has been pressuring Bahrain's king to release the medics and clear them of all charges. "We are relieved that nine were acquitted and that charges were reduced for others, but none of them should have been brought to trial in the first place," says Carol Corillon, the consortium's director. She adds that the pressure on Bahrain will continue. "[We] will certainly continue to speak out in support of our unjustly imprisoned colleagues."
Meanwhile, Bahraini doctors say that they are still in danger of political reprisals. "The hospital is still militarized and surrounded by check points to identify and arrest any injured protestor seeking medical help," says Amal Habib, an ophthalmologist who has fled Bahrain and is seeking asylum abroad. "The story of the struggle of the medics in Bahrain does not end by today's verdicts. … Patients should have access to medical care without the fear of arrest, and the doctors should be able to treat any patient without the fear of prosecution."