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For Immediate Release

PHR Urges Bahrain's Highest Appeals Court to Overturn Medics' Conviction

Cambridge, Mass. - 07/27/2012

The fate of six Bahraini medics who received prison sentences last month could be decided on Monday, July 30, when the country’s highest appeals court will hear their case.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) calls on the Court of Cassation to acquit the medics of all charges of illegally participating in and supporting unlicensed gatherings and attempting to overthrow the regime.

The six medics are part of a group of 20 medical professionals arrested and tried on felony charges stemming from the Bahraini government's crackdown on a wave of citizen protests that began in February 2011. Nine were acquitted and several others released after serving short sentences. The six due in court Monday received sentences ranging from six months to five years.

“The charges against these medical professionals are representative of a broad and systematic attack on Bahrain’s health system by the government of Bahrain," said Richard Sollom, deputy director of PHR. "Dropping all charges against the medics—whose ethical duty was to treat all injured people—is imperative if there is to be true justice and political reform in Bahrain."

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent organization that uses medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. We are supported by the expertise and passion of health professionals and concerned citizens alike.

Since 1986, PHR has conducted investigations in more than 40 countries around the world, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, the United States, the former Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

  • 1986 — Led investigations of torture in Chile gaining freedom for heroic doctors there
  • 1988 — First to document the Iraqi use of chemical weapons on Kurds providing               evidence for prosecution of war criminals
  • 1996 — Exhumed mass graves in the Balkans and Rwanda to provide evidence for               International Criminal Tribunals
  • 1997 — Shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
  • 2003 — Warned US Policymakers on health and human rights conditions prior to and               during the invasion of Iraq
  • 2004 — Documented genocide and sexual violence in Darfur in support of international               prosecutions
  • 2010 — Investigated the epidemic of violence spread by Burma’s military junta
  • 2011 — Championed the principle of noninterference with medical services in times of               armed conflict and civil unrest during the Arab Spring
  • 2012 — Trained doctors, lawyers, police, and judges in the Democratic Republic of the               Congo, Kenya, and Syria on the proper collection of evidence in sexual               violence cases
  • 2013 — Won first prize in the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention with MediCapt, our               mobile app that documents evidence of torture and sexual violence

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