An Irish delegation visit to Bahrain to demand some medics jailed in connection with the recent unrest be freed ended in fiasco – just as expected.

And what transpired at the so-called press conference by the delegation was also expected – except for Bahrain’s very own Slapgate!

The conference ended abruptly after delegation members were heckled by Bahrain Medical Society members, even as one of the doctors was allegedly assaulted by a journalist.

Some doctors repeatedly accused the delegation of “wasting time” and not listening to their side of the story.

Details about the shameful incident have already been well-publicised but just for the record, it involved a female journalist allegedly slapping a female doctor right in front of television cameras and shocked onlookers.

Just as the delegation walked out, one of the doctors, Hind Al Fayaz, was allegedly verbally abused and roughed up by a female journalist, Reem Khalifa for trying to record her on the mobile phone.

There are some questions to be asked here.

One, why did the delegation come from Ireland in the first place when they knew they would not be welcome? Was securing the release of Bahraini medics their only interest? Were they independent ‘investigators’ or were they influenced by other vested interests?

These questions were not answered even when a journalist asked the delegation whether their country would allow any ‘human rights activist’ to casually walk into Ireland and demand to see detainees and senior government dignatories.

There was also no answer on why the delegation did not even make an effort to speak to alleged victims of medics’ criminal acts and looked the other way when video evidence was shown to them.

There was an obvious vested interest, claim the Bahrain Medical Society. Perhaps, they were right in demanding they give the other side a hearing too.

Now, coming to the second question. Why were the medical society members at the hotel when in fact it were a press conference and they were not invited? Did it not amount to trespassing?

Not only did they disrupt proceedings, they also denied the media a chance to question the delegation on why they were in Bahrain and what they had achieved.

Clearly, the delegation would have been cornered and hard pressed for answers. That would have made great copy and served the interest of Bahrain.

The argument that medics were not given a chance to get their point of view across could hold some water for arguments’ sake but they could have expressed their views immediately after the press conference – which some members of the fraternity did in any case after the proceedings were disrupted.

As for Slapgate, or a ‘woman’s thing’ as it was made out to be, it is deplorable behaviour in any case, even when the howling of the ‘victim’ created a hilarious end to the drama.

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