Bahrain Live Blog
A doctor sentenced for aiding anti-government protests has gone on hunger strike
A doctor sentenced on charges of aiding anti-government protests in Bahrain went on a hunger strike Thursday.
Saeed al-Samaheeji was among nine medical professionals sentenced last week to prison terms ranging from one month to five years, a decision that has been condemned by international rights groups and the US.
Nine others were freed, and 15-year sentences were upheld against two doctors who fled Bahrain.
The 58-year-old Samaheeji remains free while he considers appealing his one-year sentence. He said Thursday that he went on a hunger strike to protest "brutal and fabricated charges" and draw international attention to the plight of all the doctors, hoping their sentences would eventually being thrown out.
Authorities say the doctors sided with protesters last year and tried to topple the country's ruling system. The doctors said they were only doing their jobs during the protests and subsequent bloody crackdown.
"We are doctors, not criminals, and we were trying to save lives, and these sentences are political convictions. ... We are innocent," al-Samaheeji told reporters.
- Associated Press