A year after the uprising in Bahrain began, the government has continued to deny entrance to journalists and human rights activists, including Richard Sollom of PHR.
Over the weekend, the US administration chose to move forward with the sale of military equipment to Bahrain, despite the fact that tear gas assaults on minority Shi’a neighborhoods recently took the life of a 6-day-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. Such a sale, even if it does not include weapons, sends the wrong message to the people of Bahrain who are protesting government oppression.
The Bahraini government's recent refusal to allow Richard Sollom, deputy director of PHR, to enter the country is a sign that the country has not kept its promises. The king has claimed that he is eager for dialogue, but by refusing to allow Sollom and other human rights investigators to enter Bahrain, he has shown that his pledges were empty words.
Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, reported to Human Rights Watch that he was beaten by police while leaving a peaceful protest on January 6, 2012. This attack is another example of the ongoing abuses in Bahrain, which recently denied entrance to PHR's deputy director Richard Sollum and prevented him from attending the appeals trial of 20 Bahraini medics who were convicted in September for treating protestors.
In the News
An American activist who was refused entry to Bahrain on Sunday said he feared the 20 medics being re-tried for allegedly trying to overthrow the regime would be "scape-goated" by the authorities. Richard Sollom, who had flown in to the country with the intention of observing the medics' retrial today, told the Guardian he hoped international pressure would eventually force the King to quash the charges.