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For Immediate Release

PHR Urges Restraint in Bahrain as Health Clinic Suffers Fire Damage

Cambridge, MA - 11/01/2012

The firebombing of a health clinic in Bahrain over the weekend, though reportedly accidental, is yet another reminder of the ongoing threat faced by health facilities and workers in that country since street protests started in the Arab Spring of 2011.

“We urge all demonstrators to protest peacefully and exercise restraint,” said Richard Sollom, deputy director of Physicians for Human Rights, who has investigated human rights abuses in Bahrain. “We also urge the Bahraini government to end its ban on all public demonstrations and allow citizens to exercise their fundamental rights of expression and assembly.”

The Molotov cocktails that exploded outside the Al Razi Health Centre in a Shia neighborhood of Manama were apparently not directed intentionally at the clinic and caused no major damage or injuries, but they charred its exterior wall.

This week, Bahrain’s government banned all rallies and demonstrations in the country in an effort to stem outbreaks of violence. More than 50 people have died in periodic clashes since antigovernment protesters first took to the streets.

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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