Dr. Ali Al-Ekri: Most Difficult Stages since February 2011 (Timeline)

2017-03-12 - 1:23 p

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Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): "To be part of the equation is a tough decision," this is how the consultant orthopedic surgeon Dr. Ali Al-Ekri, speaks of the decision he made, costing him a hefty price. In the equation of the oppressed against the oppressor, making a choice is a very risky journey. Some choose the safest and easiest of ways, others choose to stand with the strongest who would provide them with protection and security, while very few opt to back the oppressed regardless of the consequences and high costs. Since February 14, Bahrainis had to choose. Al-Ekri choose to heed the sufferings of the people and stand by them, so he paid the price of this stance and choice.

On Friday, March 10, 2017, Al-Ekri completed his prison term, fulfilling his medical oath. Five full years have passed. Many thought that there would be relief and his sentence would be commuted. Yet that did not happen and there was not even an intention to reduce his term. He was the last to stay behind bars of the medical staff that was arrested in March 2011, after the state of emergency was declared. The medics paid the price of their devotion to their oath during the February 2011 events, as they swore to protect human lives in all circumstances. They were slandered by the media and tried in politically-driven cases before military courts and then civilian ones. Following immense pressures by international organizations and human rights groups, they were released on September 8 of 2011, with continued trials.

Al-Ekri was re-arrested on October 1, 2012 after a five-year sentence was upheld by a court, in retaliation for his criticism of the authorities' use of force against protestors and for exercising his right to freedom of expression. It seems like the authorities specifically wanted to lock up Al-Ekri and make him spend the longest prison term- perhaps because he was the biggest thorn in their flesh.

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