Security forces have seized at least eight health workers from two separate medical facilities in Bahrain, sources tell Al Jazeera.

The Aali Health Centre in Manama was raided early on Tuesday morning, as shown in an image posted by an activist on Facebook. Medical staff working in the two centres were beaten and an unknown number were arrested.

Human rights groups have accused Bahrain of arresting patients and medical staff suspected of taking part in protests, and sacking hundreds of public workers. Bahrain says it targets only those who committed crimes during the unrest in March.

Mattar Ibrahim Mattar, a former member of parliament for Wefaq, the country’s leading opposition group, told Al Jazeera that the families of medical staff who have been providing treatment to injured protesters were being arrested.

“The attack is also against the families of the activists who were against the prevention of medical services in the crackdown,” Mattar said in a phone interview on Tuesday.

Medical staff were targeted because they had been keeping accurate statistics on the number of people injured or killed in the uprising, he said, information which the government did not want to be made public.

“It is a way to hide the situation,” he said.

Educational institutions have also been targeted, he said, and as many as 10 schools had been raided since the crackdown began on February 14.

Many students who had witnessed these raids told him that students were beaten, arrested and tortured while they were detained.

Media stifled

Al Jazeera also learnt on Tuesday of the arrest of five Bahraini journalists and a blogger over the past week.
Faisal Hayat, a sports writer, and Haider Muhammad of Al Wasat newspaper, were still in prison as of Tuesday night.

Hussein al-Ghadeiri, a reporter for Al Bilad, Nada al Wadi, who writes for Al Wasat, and Al Watan‘s Mona Al Nashaba were each held by police for some time between eight and 36 hours before being released. They said they had been beaten.

At least 10 journalists have been fired from state-run newspapers, including the majority of those who had been arrested.

Source: Al Jazeera