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Activist refused entry into Bahrain

Jan. 9, 2012 at 5:12 PM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Bahrain's government refused to allow an American human rights activist into the country, officials say.

On Sunday, officials at the airport turned away Richard Sollom, deputy president of Physicians for Human Rights, who was hoping to observe the trial of 20 medical workers being charged with felonies for providing care for protesters.

"Blocking independent human rights observers from the trials of medical professionals casts greater doubt on the fairness of these proceedings," Sollom said in a release issued Monday by Physicians for Human Rights as trials were to resume for activists and the physicians that treated them.

Many health professionals working at the state-run Salmaniya Medical Center, who treated those injured in the February and March protests, are now being prosecuted by the Bahraini government, a move that human rights organizations have harshly criticized.

Government forces have allegedly killed at least 40 people since the beginning of the protests.

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