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For Immediate Release

PHR Welcomes the Release of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry Report

Government of Bahrain must now make substantive and irreversible human rights improvements

Cambridge, Mass - 11/23/2011

PHR welcomed today the release of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) Report and called on the Government of Bahrain to make substantive and irreversible human rights improvements in the country. PHR also calls on the US Administration to make the sale of arms to Bahrain dependent on the actual improvement of the human rights situation.

“It is no surprise that the BICI uncovered systematic torture, excessive use of force, and many of the other serious human rights violations that PHR reported. The attacks by the Government on doctors and patients, including their arbitrary arrest, detention, and torture, were indeed systematic,” said Richard Sollom, PHR’s Deputy Director. “So far, the Government appears to be saying the right things, but words are not enough. To demonstrate a real commitment to reform, the Government must now make meaningful and measurable changes.”

The long-awaited BICI report was commissioned by the King of Bahrain in response to fierce international criticism regarding the human rights situation in Bahrain in an attempt to preempt an independent UN investigation. The US Administration has repeatedly stated that the BICI Report is a key component in its decision regarding the delayed arms sale to Bahrain

“This document proves once and for all that the attacks PHR documented were systematic and the US Administration has no choice but to delay the arms sale until the human rights situation in Bahrain improves measurably and permanently,” said Hans Hogrefe, Chief Policy Officer of PHR. 

PHR calls on the Administration to make the arms sale dependent on concrete human rights improvements including:

  • The unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience, including medical workers unfairly tried;
  • Immediate reinstatement and full compensation to medical workers and all individuals who were dismissed for exercising their universally guaranteed right of freedom of speech;
  • Dropping of all politically motivated charges against medics;
  • Stopping of ongoing police raids and their excessive use of force against civilian protesters; and
  • The investigation and accountability of all individuals who ordered, condone, or committed human rights abuses.

PHR has continually condemned the human rights violations of all civilians during Bahrain’s popular uprising this year, and has called for all trials to be fair. An estimated 350 protestors remain in detention and thousands have been unfairly convicted, abused, or fired from their jobs. In April, PHR released the report Do No Harm, which detailed Bahrain’s systematic attacks on physicians, medical staff, and patients.

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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