State Dept. Concerned over Bahrain Medics’ Verdicts
In a press conference Wednesday, State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland expressed concern over the upheld convictions of nine Bahraini doctors. “We’re also concerned that these convictions serve to further restrict freedom of expression and hurt the atmosphere that’s so necessary in Bahrain for national reconciliation,” Nuland said. “We’ve repeatedly voiced concern about this case. We’re going to continue to do it both publicly and privately at the highest levels in Bahrain,” she added. Meanwhile, the Gulf Center for Human Rights reports that six additional medical professionals were arrested by the Bahraini government on Tuesday.
In an op-ed, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette criticized the United States’ reaction to human rights violations in Bahrain. “How much do a naval base and close relations with an important neighboring oil state count for in the face of human rights violations such as sentencing medical personnel to prison for having treated injured demonstrators?” the author wrote. Cathy Feingold offered criticism as well, asking, “What is the best way for the United States to stand against violent repression…? In the case of Bahrain, apparently, it is to include the country in a new U.S. trade and investment plan and offer mostly silence as the regime crushes its opposition, invests heavily in a public relations campaign and closes the country to human rights and social justice activists.”