PHR and Prominent Medical Associations Call for Bahrain to Cease Attacks on Hospitals, Patients, and Medical Professionals

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Media Contacts:

Megan Prock
Senior Press Officer
mprock [at] phrusa [dot] org
Tel: +1.617.301.4237
Mob: +1.617.510.3417

Cambridge, Mass. – PHR today announced that several prominent medical associations and health professionals, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians, have joined together to call for Bahrain to cease all attacks on hospitals, patients, and medical professionals. In a joint letter sent today to Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Bahrain Defence Force, the groups urge Bahrain to respect its international legal obligations and bring an end to all other violations of medical neutrality.

“We are pleased to be joined by so many prestigious medical associations and health professionals as we call for the Crown Prince of Bahrain to end the government’s ongoing violations of medical neutrality,” said Frank Davidoff, MD, MACP, Interim Chief Executive Officer of PHR. “The reports of the arrests and disappearances of medical professionals are particularly disturbing and are cause for an immediate international investigation.”

The letter will be hand-delivered today to the Bahrain Ambassador to the United States. Additional copies will be sent to Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State; Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Amr Moussa, Secretary General, Arab League; Yves Daccord, Director-General, International Committee of the Red Cross; and Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization.

The distinguished associations included in this appeal represent tens of thousands of health professionals in the US and internationally. They join the many who have already spoken out via PHR’s campaign, Bahrain Free the Docs.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent, non-profit organization that uses medical and scientific expertise to investigate human rights violations and advocate for justice, accountability, and the health and dignity of all people. 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, Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, the United States, the former Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

1988 — First to document Iraq’s use of chemical weapons against Kurds

1996 — Exhumed mass graves in the Balkans

1996 — Produced critical forensic evidence of genocide in Rwanda

1997 — Shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines

2003 — Warned of health and human rights catastrophe prior to the invasion of Iraq

2004 — Documented and analyzed the genocide in Darfur

2005 — Detailed the story of tortured detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo Bay

2010 — Showed how CIA medical personnel sought to improve waterboarding and other interrogation techniques that amount to torture