An email I received during the week from a Bahraini Doctor.
Personal Account of Events in March at Bahrain University by one Bahraini Doctor
“I am a Bahraini Doctor and today I will tell you about the events that took place at Bahrain University on a Sunday in March.
Our Medical team arrived at Bahrain University in a convoy of two ambulances.
When approaching the University main gate there was a huge angry mob, some were armed with swords, others with wooden batons; most of the crowd did not look like University students judging by their appearance and age.
When the ambulance stopped they started attacking us and shouting and chanting at the medical team.
The University Security Guard stopped the ambulance and asked as what we were doing there? The doctor who was sitting in the front seat explained to him that there were reports of casualties among student protesters, after which they allowed us inside the campus.
Once inside the campus the ambulance stopped near the administration building where we saw signs of what looked like a battle with blood all over the ground.
After a while some male students started to come out when they saw us…. and they were very frightened. They were both Sunni and Shi’a.
They asked the Doctor’s if we could help them get off the campus and if we could see a student who was injured? His injury was not serious according to them, and one of the Doctors went to examine him.
After that a crowd of female students appeared in a very distressed state, they were hysterical after what they had gone through (some of the stories were very alarming and upsetting , however we could not verify these accounts until we saw them released on TV). These young women found refuge in our white coats…… amongst them was a University Lecturer.
One of the Doctors’s recommended that we speak to the Administrative Staff; however the students cautioned us that they were actually responsible for having allowed the mercenaries gain access inside the Campus in the first place.
A while later someone suggested that we should head to the car park what transpired there was an unforgettable scene…. Shortly after we got there, some people appeared and threw objects from a building and broke windows…. inviting some protesters who arrived from the roundabout area.
Anti-riot police appeared with some University security personals.
The anti-riot police started to fire toward the students with teargas and ……. started to call to the people inside the building asking them to come down.
We as a medical team stood our ground as we waited to see if there were any injuries to the people who were inside.
Shortly after that, and after coming down, some of them were enraged and launched that fury toward us accusing us for treating protestors and saying that because of our actions we would suffer the same consequences.
While we were attacked, the police merely watched and asked us to remain calm!
A member of the University personnel was violently assaulted and some of the police stood there casually observing him being viciously beaten-up.
Three or four hooligans charged at us, one with armed with a blade, they almost caught one of the Doctors. One Doctor was struck on the head with a huge wooden plank. Another thug assaulted a nurse, hitting here and throwing her to the ground where he continued to beat her brutally.
Meanwhile an ambulance showed up and suddenly there was a shot fired at the ambulance which broke through its window.
The doctor sitting in the front seat was injured by the broken glass and the staff were threatened by the mob that they would be killed if they didn’t leave immediately.
The ambulance took the injured Doctors and fled. We remained, standing there ……… surrounded by attackers. We started to run and managed to take refuge in one of the adjacent buildings after one of the University Security Personnel allowed us in.
One of the attackers smashed the glass door so we dashed upstairs and hid in one of the upper rooms. The mob stood at the door, pounding on it and threatening to kill us.
There were nine Medical Staff, two University Teachers who were bystanders, and two Security Staff.
After about an hour of negotiation with other Security Personnel we were told to head to the administration area where we might be offered some safety.
We were taken there by a bus, from where we noticed some uniformed personnel patrolling the area. In the Administrative Office contact was made with Senior Ministry of Health officials regarding our safety and by what means we could get back to the hospital.
Half an hour later some Ministry Officials, among the Dr Amin Alsaati, arrived in an ambulance. When we boarded the ambulance, just as we were leaving the University, we were attacked on the main road…. this time however the police stopped the attackers.
This was without question a shocking, life-threatening experience that the Medical Staff endured for nothing but doing their job.”