Mark C. Toner
Deputy Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
September 29, 2011
We are deeply disturbed by the sentencing today of 20 medical professionals by the National Safety Court in Bahrain. We understand that the cases can be appealed and transferred to a civilian appellate court. We continue to urge the Bahraini Government to abide by its commitment to transparent judicial proceedings, including a fair trial, access to attorneys, and verdicts based on credible evidence conducted in full accordance with Bahraini law and Bahrain’s international legal obligations.
We are also concerned about trials of civilians, including medical personnel, in military courts and the fairness of those proceedings. We have repeatedly shared our position regarding Bahrain’s judicial proceedings with the highest levels of the Bahraini Government.
We call on the Government of Bahrain and all citizens to create a climate conducive for reconciliation, meaningful dialogue, and reform that, as President Obama said on September 21, will bring peaceful change that is responsive to the aspirations of all Bahrainis.