The kingdom of Bahrain has arrested dozens of doctors and nurses and in the past couple of months and they are now being tried in court after being accused of offering assistance in the anti-government protests earlier this year.  Their trial resumes this week with the government prosecutors set to present more witnesses against the medical practitioners of the Salmaniya Medical Complex in the capital city Manama.

Cases of torture committed by Bahrain’s authorities against those that have been arrested were reported by their legal counsel, human rights activist, and their families. They alleged that several methods of torture have been employed in order to obtain false confessions from the prisoners. Some are even made to stand for weeks while handcuffed and never allowed to get any sleep.

Journalists noticed the pale and tired look in some of the doctors while they stood at the courtroom on Monday during their trial. The doctors were seen simply shaking their heads in disbelief as the long list accusations were read to them including distribution of guns using ambulances and stealing blood from the blood bank.

International human rights and medical organizations closely monitoring the situation like the Doctors Without Borders and Human Rights Watch claim that Bahraini security forces broke into Manama’s main hospital and fired tear gas to contain the doctors as well as the protesters that are seeking medical attention in the facility. However, authorities have vehemently denied such claims.

Families of the arrested medical practitioners claim that authorities storm at their homes even at night to make the arrests. As it stands, 47 members of medical staff in Salmaniya Medical Complex are now facing trial in the Bahraini courts. This situation has deeply polarized the country’s medical community as some oppose the seemingly militarization of the medical industry while there are those that openly support the presence of Bahrain’s army in hospitals.

The biggest losers without a doubt are the patients whose need for medical assistance has been absolutely disregarded because of the military crackdown on providers of medical care. International human rights organizations believe that the government’s tough stand against the doctors only signifies that the hardliners within Bahrain’s ruling family have returned to power and they are just making an example out of the doctors.

Activists closely following the case believe that that the doctors and nurses are being singled out simply because they assisted anti-government protesters by providing them medical treatment during the height of the protests. Since the unrest began in the small Arab kingdom in February, around 30 people have died and over a thousand people have been detained by the Bahraini government, sources claim.