For Immediate Release
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today welcomed the much delayed release by a Bahraini court of forensic medical documentation of eight medics who were tortured in detention. Today during the continuing trial of 20 health workers who are charged as alleged backers of pro-democracy protests, the court released medical evaluations of eight medics. Eighteen medics allege torture while in detention.
“We are pleased to hear that the Bahraini court heeded our calls for the release of these important medical evaluations that prove torture. However, this decision is only a small victory for some of the medics and their families. If the court is serious about guaranteeing fair trials for all medics, they must immediately provide the remaining ten medics access to independent forensic examinations,” said Richard Sollom, Deputy Director at PHR.
PHR has continually called for qualified forensic and medical evaluations of all detainees in Bahrain using the gold standard of torture investigations – the U.N. Istanbul Protocol, which PHR helped to develop. The court has proposed that the accused medics undergo examinations by a 3-person local committee; however the medics’ defense team has alleged that the committee is biased.
PHR has continually called for the charges against all medics to be dismissed and the torture of medics documented by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) to be thoroughly investigated. Recently, the court also refused to accept a list of international experts that the defense suggested should examine the medics.
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.