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Irish team 'ignored crucial testimony'

AN Irish delegation that travelled to Manama seeking the release of Bahraini doctors has been accused of supporting "traitors".

Bahrain Medical Society (BMS) chairman Dr Nabeel Al Ansari launched a scathing attack on the group on his Twitter account.

He accused them of refusing to officially meet members of the society to get a balanced view of what happened during the unrest and of having an "agenda".

"Irish group came to Bahrain supporting traitors," posted Dr Al Ansari.

He claimed to have phone records showing how many times officials tried to contact the delegation, but were ignored.

Dr Al Ansari was present at a meeting between a top Foreign Ministry official and the delegation, but claims they refused to directly meet the society.

He also questioned the delegation's involvement with the human rights organisation Front Line, which is believed to be linked to Abdulhadi Al Khawajah.

He was jailed for life last month for being part of a plot to forcibly overthrow Bahrain's monarchy and having links to a foreign terrorist organisation

"This Irish group support sectarian organisations," posted Dr Al Ansari.

The BMS chief's attack came after a Press conference called by the delegation ended in chaos on Thursday night.

Symbol

The event, at the Ramada Palace Hotel, was forced to end early after Bahraini doctors showed up to heckle delegation members and accuse them of ignoring the criminal actions of medical staff during the unrest.

Mr Al Ansari's attack coincided with questions about the impartiality of the Irish delegation after a picture showed them posing next to a model of the former Pearl Roundabout - a popular symbol of anti-government protesters.

The group were photographed with president of the now-dissolved Bahrain Centre for Human Rights Nabeel Rajab.

At least two patients died during the height of the unrest when anti-government protesters hijacked control of medical services at Salmaniya Medical Complex, commandeered ambulances, blocked roads and set up illegal checkpoints.

Medical staff also allegedly administered drugs to induce symptoms in patients to make it appear they had been attacked with nerve gas, denied medical services to expatriates and on racial grounds and illegally detained other health staff and patients.



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