Six Bahraini Medical Staff Jailed for Exercising Right to Expression Must Be Released Immediately

Press Release
October 2, 2012

Six Bahraini Medical Staff Jailed for Exercising Right to Expression Must Be Released Immediately

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, strimel@aiusa.org, 212-633-4150, @strimel

(New York) – Six medical staff - whose prison sentences for their role in last year's pro-reform uprising in Bahrain were upheld on Monday - have been arrested a day after Amnesty International called on the Bahraini government to refrain from jailing them.

“Today's imprisonment once again marks the lack of any real commitment from Bahrain's government to be held accountable and deliver true justice for victims of human rights violations,” said Ann Harrison, program director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

“Despite the government’s claims that the medics committed a criminal offense, Amnesty International believes they have been jailed solely for peacefully exercising their legitimate rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, and therefore they should be immediately and unconditionally released.”

The organization considers the six to be prisoners of conscience and has found no evidence that any of them used or advocated violence in their role in last year’s pro-reform demonstrations.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.