A Bahraini court has refused to drop the charges against two medical personnel over their participation in protest rallies against the ruling Al Khalifa regime.
Defense lawyer Abdullah al - Shamlawi said the pair did not appear in court on Thursday. He added that the court ordered charges against 21 other medical staffers to be dropped. Last October, five doctors lost their appeals against convictions of protest - related offenses. Dozens of doctors and nurses, mostly from Salmaniya Hospital, have been arrested by Bahraini forces for treating wounded protesters and taking part in anti - regime demonstrations. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights says authorities have denied medical help to jailed nurse, Haleema al - Sabagh. Sabagh was sentenced to one year in prison after being arrested in Salmaniya Hospital. The Bahraini uprising began in mid - February 2011. The Bahraini government promptly launched a brutal crackdown on the peaceful protests and called in Saudi - led Arab forces from neighboring states. Dozens of people have been killed in the crackdown, and the security forces have arrested hundreds, including doctors and nurses accused of treating injured revolutionaries. A report published by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry in November 2011 found that the Al Khalifa regime had used excessive force in the crackdown and accused Manama of torturing political activists, politicians, and protesters. The protesters say they will continue holding anti - regime demonstrations until their demand for the establishment of a democratically elected government is met.