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For Immediate Release

Bahrain Government Must Drop Misdemeanor Charges Against 28 Health Professionals

Cambridge, Mass. - 07/03/2012

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today called for all charges of misdemeanors against 28 health professionals in Bahrain to be dropped. The health professionals have been charged with illegal gathering to protest against the regime. The medics’ sentences will be announced tomorrow, July 4, 2012, by the Lower Criminal Court.

After being held in prison for several months and allegedly tortured, the medics were tried in June 2011 with 20 other medical professionals.

“These medical professionals were merely fulfilling their ethical duty to treat the injured, including injured protesters. Not only should their charges be dropped, but the cases themselves should be expunged from their records,” said Richard Sollom, Deputy Director at PHR.

Although the medics were released from prison after the June 2011 trial, most were suspended from work until recently. The medics that have been reinstated found that their former positions have been given to others. PHR also calls for the 28 medical professionals to be compensated for the time they were forced to stay away from work.

“If Bahrain is committed to human rights they must also hold the perpetrators of the torture of these medics accountable,” said Sollom.

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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