Senator Averil Power has welcomed the release in Bahrain of Dr. Rula Al Saffar, the head of the Bahrain Nursing Society, and Jalila al Salman, deputy head of the Bahrain Teachers’ Association. Both had been arrested following the crackdown on anti-government protestors in Bahrain last March. Their continued detention has been criticised by the United Nations, the European Union, the Irish Government and human rights organisations.


Senator Power said: “Last month I was part of an Irish delegation that travelled to Bahrain to highlight the plight of medics who had been arrested following anti-government protests earlier this year. Three of the prisoners had trained in Ireland and one of them has an Irish-born child.


“On our visit to Bahrain, we met with medical personnel who had recently been released from prison as well as with the families of those who remained in custody. Their first-hand accounts of the torture and ill-treatment they had been subjected to in custody was truly harrowing”, she said.


“The Irish delegation secured a commitment from the Bahraini Minister for Health, Dr. Fatima Al Balushi, that she would speak to the King of Bahrain and request that the imprisoned medics be released.


“I welcome the news that Dr. Rula Al Saffar and Jalila al Salman have now been released. However ten medics remain in custody and another has been transferred to hospital after suffering a ruptured brain aneurism. Our delegation will continue to campaign for their release.”