On 21 November, 23 health professionals in Bahrain were sentenced to three months in prison on charges of illegally gathering during Arab spring protests in 2011. Five others were acquitted. Richard Sollom, deputy director of Physicians for Human Rights said: "We are disappointed, though not surprised, that the Bahraini regime once again has decided to punish health professionals merely for expressing their right to peaceful assembly.
PHR’s close ally Dr. Denis Mukwege recently survived a near-fatal attack at his home in Eastern Congo in the lead-up to the extraordinary violence that has engulfed the region. Dr. Mukwege is renowned for his work treating victims of sexual violence. PHR’s Susannah Sirkin told The Lancet, “The biggest impact is Mukwege's voice and any attempt to silence his voice is harmful to past and future victims.” PHR is now calling on the Congolese government to fully investigate the attack.
Victims of sexual and gender based violence for atrocities experienced after the 2007 elections will take the government to court. Rachel Muthonga from the Physicians for Human Rights says they want reparation for the victims.
The government responded Wednesday to criticism by Amnesty International and others who have charged that the Persian Gulf monarchy is intensifying its repression of dissidents, and abandoning reforms it promised after cracking down on a popular uprising last year. The government drew fresh criticism on Wednesday, when a court sentenced 23 medical workers to three months in prison on the charge of “illegal gathering,” according to Physicians for Human Rights.
PHR today expressed dismay at the decision by Bahrain’s Lower Criminal Court to sentence 23 health professionals to three months in prison on charges of illegally gathering during Arab spring protests in 2011. Five others were acquitted.