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Bahrain Must End Travel Restrictions Imposed on Human Rights Organizations

For Immediate Release

Physiciansfor Human Rights (PHR) today made public a joint letter from four leading humanrights organizations to the Kingdom of Bahrain calling for an end to thefive-day travel limit imposed on all human rights and humanitarian workerstraveling to Bahrain.

On February 28, PHR was notified by Bahrain's Human Rights and SocialDevelopment Ministry of the new travel restrictions which limit travel withinBahrain to five-day trips which must be arranged through a Bahraini sponsor.

PHR,Amnesty International, and Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch stated in theletter, “We must object to the conditions placed on our visits, in particularthe extremely short timeframe. The five-business-day limit appears to bearbitrary and will greatly impede our ability to monitor and research humanrights developments.”

Thenew limitations of travel contradict the oral commitments Bahrain and otherofficials made in meetings with PHR, and to the United Nations, regardingaccess for international human rights organizations.

“Ifthe King is truly committed to reforms he cannot continue to impose thesearbitrary boundaries which prevent real and meaningful investigations byimpartial, outside observers,” said Richard Sollom, PHR’s Deputy Director whowas refused entry into Bahrain in January. “Unless the Government of Bahrainhas something to hide, there is no reason that human rights investigatorsshouldn’t be allowed in the country for 10, 15, or even 50 days.”

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.

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