The price I have to pay

DR FATIMA Haji’s nightmare began with a phone call. It was 3.30am on 17 February 2011, and things had turned busy in the hospital emergency department where the young rheumatologist worked, as Bahraini government forces began to disperse protesters. They had fired rubber bullets and sprayed toxic tear gas. 

Dr Haji was called in to manage the spike in admissions, some protesters convulsing from hypoxia triggered by the tear gas, others suffering blunt force trauma from being bashed with security batons and butts of guns. 

The next day the rubber bullets turned live and the injured turned into the dead. A doctor colleague of Dr Haji’s presented, beaten almost to death, and his incredulous colleagues asked why he didn’t explain he was a doctor. His reply: “I did.”

The state-run Salmaniya Medical Complex, apparently on orders from the country’s health ministry, then began to halt operations despite the

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