29th Mar, 2013 –

The acquittal of 21 medics is a watershed moment for Bahrain. This is an issue that has consistently attracted controversy over the past two years: Legal measures against these medics resulted in widespread international criticism – while for many Bahrainis this group of doctors were guilty of abandoning their posts at a critical period and favouring revolution over their medical responsibilities.

Whatever our opinion on the chaotic events at Salmaniya Hospital during February 2011 we can at least agree that these medics’ acquittal allows Bahrain to turn the page on this difficult chapter.

The fact that these medics were able to bring their sentences to appeal with full access to defence lawyers – and secured a favourable verdict – shows that Bahrain is ultimately a state under the rule of law. This highlights the justice sector reforms, which have been introduced, guaranteeing that all Bahrainis can enjoy their legal rights.

We hope that important measures like this acquittal and the Crown Prince’s appointment as Deputy Prime Minister help pave the way for more fruitful progress in the National Dialogue and a reconciliation process that can heal the deep divisions, which have fragmented our society.

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