For Immediate Release
Cambridge, Mass. – April 5, 2011 – Accordingto Physicians for Human Rights’ investigators in Bahrain, doctors aredisappearing as part of a systematic attack on medical staff. Today PHR investigatorslearned that two physicians are missing following interrogations by unknownsecurity forces at Salmaniya Medical Complex, Manama.
“We knowof at least two doctors who have disappeared in the last 24 hours,” said RichardSollom, PHR’s lead investigator.
Althoughfamilies have tried to contact the administration officials with whom thedoctors were last seen, the administration denies any knowledge of theirwhereabouts. According to family members, the physicians are being heldincommunicado in unknown locations.
“Unfortunately,these incidents aren’t isolated,” said Sollom. “They seem to be part of asystematic attack on doctors in Bahrain. Doctors, nurses, and other medicalprofessionals have an ethical duty to prevent and limit suffering of patients in their care,and a duty to practice medicine in a neutral way without fear or favor. PHRcalls on the Government of Bahrain to release these medical professionalsunharmed in the absence of legitimate charges, or to formally charge them andassure them a fair and impartial trial.”
PHR has a longhistory of investigating attacks against medical personnel. The human rightslaw, international humanitarian law, and medical ethics that define “medicalneutrality” dictate noninterference with medical services in times of civilunrest.
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.