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For Immediate Release

PHR Condemns Arrest of Prominent Bahraini Human Rights Activist and Family Members; Urges Immediate US Government Intervention

Cambridge, Mass - 04/09/2011

Cambridge, Mass. — April 9, 2011 — One of Bahrain’s leading human rights activists, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, was physically assaulted and arrested early today. Only hours after PHR had concluded an in-country emergency investigation regarding issues of medical neutrality, Bahraini authorities continued their ongoing campaign of night time arrests of human rights and opposition leaders, which has also systematically targeted physicians. Early Saturday, police forces stormed the apartment of Mr. al-Khawaja, and beat and arrested him in front of his daughter. The authorities also arrested two of his sons-in-laws, who were present in the apartment. The additional arrests of those family members clearly indicate that any person can be targeted for arrest by Bahraini authority.

“PHR strongly condemns these arbitrary arrests, which clearly violate internationally guaranteed human rights and legal standards,” said Frank Donaghue, CEO of Physicians for Human Rights. “PHR calls on President Obama and the international community, including the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, to intervene urgently with the Bahraini government to cease its ongoing arrest campaign, and to release unconditionally all individuals whose internationally guaranteed rights of freedom of speech, movement and to organize have been violated.”

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

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