For Immediate Release
PHR welcomed today the release of the Bahrain Independent Commission ofInquiry (BICI) Report and called on the Government of Bahrain to makesubstantive and irreversible human rights improvements in the country. PHR alsocalls on the US Administration to make the sale of arms to Bahrain dependent on the actual improvement of the human rights situation.
“It is no surprise that theBICI uncovered systematic torture, excessive use of force, and many of theother serious human rights violations that PHR reported. The attacks by the Governmenton doctors and patients, including their arbitrary arrest, detention, andtorture, were indeed systematic,” said Richard Sollom, PHR’s Deputy Director.“So far, the Government appears to be saying the right things, but words are notenough. To demonstrate a real commitment to reform, the Government must nowmake meaningful and measurable changes.”
The long-awaited BICI reportwas commissioned by the King of Bahrain in response to fierce internationalcriticism regarding the human rights situation in Bahrain in an attempt topreempt an independent UN investigation. The US Administration has repeatedlystated that the BICI Report is a key component in its decision regarding thedelayed arms sale to Bahrain
“This document proves onceand for all that the attacks PHR documented were systematic and the USAdministration has no choice but to delay the arms sale until the human rightssituation in Bahrain improves measurably and permanently,” said Hans Hogrefe,Chief Policy Officer of PHR.
PHR calls on theAdministration to make the arms sale dependent on concrete human rights improvementsincluding:
- The unconditional release of all prisoners ofconscience, including medical workers unfairly tried;
- Immediate reinstatement and full compensation tomedical workers and all individuals who were dismissed for exercising theiruniversally guaranteed right of freedom of speech;
- Dropping of all politically motivated chargesagainst medics;
- Stopping of ongoing police raids and theirexcessive use of force against civilian protesters; and
- The investigation and accountability of allindividuals who ordered, condone, or committed human rights abuses.
PHR has continually condemned the human rightsviolations of all civilians during Bahrain’s popular uprising this year, andhas called for all trials to be fair. An estimated 350 protestors remain in detentionand thousands have been unfairly convicted, abused, or fired from their jobs. In April, PHR released the report Do No Harm, which detailed Bahrain’s systematicattacks on physicians, medical staff, and patients.
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.