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PHR Denounces Sentences Passed on Bahraini Medics and Protestors

Calls for persecution of health providers to cease

For Immediate Release

PHR denounces the guilty verdicts and harsh sentences issued in Bahrain against 20 medical professionals and two protestors on September 29. The medics were convicted for providing care to protestors during the country’s popular uprising earlier this year. PHR calls on the government of Bahrain to set aside the verdicts and not carry out the sentences.

“These aremedical professionals who were treating patients during a period of civilunrest, as their ethical duty requires them to do. To imprison them as part ofa political struggle is unconscionable,” said PHR’s Chief Policy Officer, Hans Hogrefe.

PHR hascontinually challenged the legitimacy of the charges against the medics. Themedical professionals being charged are civilians who have been arrested andinterrogated by military prosecutors, and then tried by a hybrid military court.This does not meet with the minimum standard of a fair trial. These convictions demonstrate a cleardisregard for human rights on the part of the Bahraini authorities and are inviolation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), whichwas ratified by the Kingdom of Bahrain.

In April, PHRreleased the report Do No Harm, whichdetailed Bahrain’s systematic attacks on physicians, medical staff, andpatients. PHR has continually condemned the human rights violations of allcivilians during the popular uprising, and has called for all to receive fair trials.

PHR has alsoreceived reports of torture of the detainees and a significant decline in thedetainees’ health while in detention.

“We aregravely concerned that Bahraini judges have not given these torture allegationssufficient consideration in their final verdict and that any confessions maywell have been forced and are therefore invalid,” said Deputy Director RichardSollom, who authored PHR’s April report.

“We believe the Kingdom of Bahrain still has time to actbefore the doctors are arrested and taken to prison,” said Hogrefe. “In thepast, leading medical organizations have called for the release of the doctors.Today we call on the voices of medical professionals worldwide to urge thegovernment of Bahrain to set aside the verdicts and not carry out the sentences.”

PHR has been told by sources inside Bahrain that thefollowing sentences have been passed on 20 medical professionals:

  1. Dr. Ali Al-Ekri ( 15 Years )
  2. Dr. Nader Diwani ( 15 Years )
  3. Dr. Ahmed Abdul Aziz Omran ( 15Years )
  4. Dr. Mahmoud Asghar ( 15 Years )
  5. Rola Al Saffar ( 15 Years )
  6. Dr. Abdulkhaleq Al-Oraibi ( 15Years )
  7. Dr. Ghassan Dhaif ( 15 Years)
  8. Dr. Bassim Dhaif ( 15 Years)
  9. Sayed Marhoon Al-Wedaie ( 15 Years)
  10. Dr. Nada Dhaif ( 15 Years)
  11. Dr. Fatima Haji ( 5 Years)
  12. Dheya Ibrahim AbuIdris ( 5 Years)
  13. Dr. Najah Khalil Al-Haddad ( 5Years )
  14. Dr. Saeed Al-Samahiji ( 10 Years)
  15. Dr. Zahra Al-Sammak ( 5 Years)
  16. Ali Hassan Alsddi ( 15 Years)
  17. Ibrahim Abdullah Ibrahimn ( 15Years )
  18. Hassan Mohammed Said ( 10 Years)
  19. Mohammed Faiq Ali ( 5 Years)
  20. Qassim Mohammed Omran ( 15 Years)

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.