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For Immediate Release

PHR Reports Disappearances of at Least Two Bahraini Doctors in Past 24 Hours

Cambridge, Mass - 04/05/2011

Cambridge, Mass. – April 5, 2011 – According to Physicians for Human Rights’ investigators in Bahrain, doctors are disappearing as part of a systematic attack on medical staff. Today PHR investigators learned that two physicians are missing following interrogations by unknown security forces at Salmaniya Medical Complex, Manama.

“We know of at least two doctors who have disappeared in the last 24 hours,” said Richard Sollom, PHR’s lead investigator. 

Although families have tried to contact the administration officials with whom the doctors were last seen, the administration denies any knowledge of their whereabouts. According to family members, the physicians are being held incommunicado in unknown locations.

“Unfortunately, these incidents aren’t isolated,” said Sollom. “They seem to be part of a systematic attack on doctors in Bahrain. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals have an ethical duty to prevent and limit suffering of patients in their care, and a duty to practice medicine in a neutral way without fear or favor. PHR calls on the Government of Bahrain to release these medical professionals unharmed in the absence of legitimate charges, or to formally charge them and assure them a fair and impartial trial.”

PHR has a long history of investigating attacks against medical personnel. The human rights law, international humanitarian law, and medical ethics that define “medical neutrality” dictate noninterference with medical services in times of civil unrest.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.

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