For Immediate Release
PHR denounces the guilty verdicts and sentences issued in a Bahraini court today against 11 medical professionals. PHR calls on the government of Bahrain to set aside the verdicts and not carry out the sentences.
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) revealed systematic torture, excessive use of force, and many of the other serious human rights violations that PHR reported earlier in the year.
“Given that the BICI report found evidence of torture and the prosecutor openly acknowledged the allegations of torture, it is a travesty of justice that the trials continued and that the medics are now sentenced to jail time,” said Executive Director, Donna McKay.
“The US Administration should take a strong and unwavering stance against the Government of Bahrain’s use of force against civilians and its attack on medical professionals. The developments in today’s trial merely add to the growing list of human rights concerns in Bahrain,” said McKay. “The US administration should demand from its ally measurable improvements in the human rights situation, including holding anyone who engaged in any acts of torture or ill treatment accountable.”
PHR officially requested visas from the Government of Bahrain on May 25, 2012 to attend the hearing, however was not granted permission.
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.