Kim Kardashian, a swanky shindig at DC's Ritz-Carlton Hotel, a high-powered Washington PR firm, and the US 5th Fleet - featured players in the newest reality show? Perhaps - but a show with very high stakes for those willing to speak out in the tiny Persian Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain.
Physicians for Human Rights denounces yesterday’s decision by a Bahrain appeals court to uphold the prison sentence of a prominent human rights activist involved in organizing protests against the regime.
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.
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.
A court in Bahrain sentenced 23 medical professionals to three-month jail terms on charges that included supporting protesters during the early weeks of the uprising last year. The US-based Physicians for Human Rights group expressed dismay at the decision.