For Immediate Release
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today called for the Bahraini court to expunge all politically motivated charges against 20 Bahraini medical professionals convicted of occupying a hospital and overthrowing the regime. On Thursday, the medics will be sentenced in the High Court of Appeals.
Eighteen of the accused medical professionals have alleged that Bahraini security forces tortured them while in detention. In November 2011, the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) uncovered systematic torture, excessive use of force, and many of the other serious human rights violations that PHR reported earlier in the year.
“The Government of Bahrain cannot claim to care about human rights while it upholds convictions based on torture,” said Donna McKay, Executive Director of PHR. “Given that the BICI report found evidence of torture and the prosecutor openly acknowledged the allegations of torture, all convictions must be thrown out. If the Government of Bahrain wants to show its citizens and the international community that it is genuinely committed to reform, the trial of the medics must reflect that commitment,” said McKay.
“To date, there hasn’t been a genuine effort to investigate and prosecute those responsible for torture and other crimes. Justice will not be served until all guilty parties are held accountable,” said McKay.
PHR has continually called for the charges against all medical professionals to be dismissed and the torture of medics documented by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) to be thoroughly investigated.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.