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PHR Calls on Bahrain Appeals Court to Free Hospital Worker

For Immediate Release

An appeals court in Bahrain could decide on Monday whether to release a hospital worker sentenced to three years in prison for delivering an oxygen cylinder and other medical supplies to treat protesters.

A military court sentenced Younis Ashoori in June 2011 following his arrest in March; he has allegedly been tortured while in custody. He is in his 60s and has serious medical conditions that put his life in danger without appropriate medical care.

“Imprisoning this health professional for the ‘crime’ of helping wounded protesters is yet another example of the government’s empty promise to implement human rights reform,” said Richard Sollom, deputy director of PHR. “Mr. Ashoori must be released at once—along with all other medical professionals who have been similarly arrested simply for performing their ethical duty to treat the injured.”

Younis is one of several medics tried individually. Ahmed Almushatat was sentenced to two years for providing medications to injured protesters, and Hassan Matooq was sentenced to three years for participating in a public gathering. PHR has been unable to visit these men in prison, despite repeated requests, and has lobbied strenuously for their release.

PHR has also called on courts in Bahrain to drop all charges against other medical professionals convicted in connection with their efforts to treat protesters wounded in demonstrations against the Bahraini regime sparked by the Arab Spring movement.

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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Kevin Short

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