PHR Calls For Open and Fair Trials in Bahrain

PHRdelivered 815 letters from concerned individuals all over the world to theEmbassy of Bahrain. The letters expressed the outrage of the internationalcommunity at the government attacks on doctors and medical facilities in thewake of popular protests earlier this year. PHR thanks all those who wroteletters and took a stand against the illegal treatment of the Bahraini medicalprofessionals. 

Butour work is not yet done. 48 medical professionals who were arrested fortreating protesters are now facing trial before a hybrid military court. Thesetrials are troubling for several reasons. PHR documented extensive violations by the Bahraini government after the protests that cast doubt on thelegitimacy of the charges against the defendants. The government’s use of amilitary trial for these cases raises serious doubts about how the rights ofcivilians can be adequately protected.

Additionally, PHR has received callsfrom the defendants’ families that indicate that the defendants have beentortured and forced to sign false confessions in detention. PHR has alsoreceived information that the court prevented the defendants from speakingabout the torture they suffered at the hands of the government. Acts of tortureand ill-treatment are egregious violations of the Kingdom of Bahrain’sobligations under international human rights law. 

PHRcalls on the Kingdom of Bahrain to ensure that all court proceedings adhere tointernational legal standards and remain open to observers. Given the reportsof torture and ill-treatment of individuals in detention, the Kingdom ofBahrain must immediately conduct an investigation of the treatment of those indetention, hold perpetrators of abuses accountable, and provide reparation tovictims.

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