Human rights groups have demanded that the government of Bahrain put a stop to committing human rights violations against protestors and halt the practice of detaining patients and doctors suspected of either having participating in protests or being sympathetic with them.

Most of these acts have reportedly been perpetrated in the Salmaniya Medical Complex in the capitol Manama.

Amnesty International, based in London, slammed the Bahraini crackdown.

North American and European governments, so vocal recently in espousing the cause of human rights in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, need also to speak out loudly about what is going on in Bahrain, said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's director for the Middle East and North Africa.

To avoid the charge of double standards, they must be much more robust in pressing the Bahraini authorities to uphold their international human rights obligations.

Amnesty also charged the Bahraini regime with having launched a cleverly planned and orchestrated crackdown using excessive force to suppress protests calling for political change and reform.

Amnesty estimates that more than 500 people have been arrested in just the past month; and that at least four detainees died while in custody under suspicious circumstances.”

Paris-based Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) -- Doctors Without Borders -- described Bahraini hospitals as places to be feared.

Wounds are used to identify demonstrators, restricted access to health care is being used to deter people from protesting, and those who dare to seek treatment in health facilities are being arrested, said Latifa Ayada, medical coordinator for the group.

Health facilities are used as bait to identify and arrest those who dare seek treatment.

On a visit to Salmaniya, MSF members said wounded patients informed them that state security officers had beaten and arrested some of them.

MSF said the Bahraini military’s occupation of the undermined the ability of health facilities to provide impartial medical care.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), a US-based group, stated: The excessive use of force against unarmed civilians, patients in hospitals and medical personnel that PHR's investigators documented is extremely troubling and is cause for an immediate international investigation.”

The police, military and intelligence services must stop using the health system as a way to crack down on the protesters, MSF added.

William Hague, the UK foreign secretary said in London: The arrests of opposition figures, the reports of deaths in custody, allegations of torture and the denial of medical treatment, are extremely troubling. I call on the government to investigate them fully and transparently. I urge the Bahraini authorities to act in accordance with the law and to meet international standards for the treatment of detainees. Events across the Middle East have shown that governments need to respond with reform and not repression if they are to enhance the long-term stability and prosperity of their countries.”

Bahraini authorities have denied all the allegations.

Government spokesperson Maysoon Sabkar said: This extended beyond the spreading of malicious propaganda to the blocking of medical care, severely interrupting services and endangering life. Those responsible are being investigated and will be held to account in the proper, legal manner.”