Amnesty International on Thursday condemned as a "travesty of justice" the jailing of 20 medical staff in Bahrain in connection with anti-government protests, dpa reported.
In a statement released in London, the human rights group described the charges against the civilian professionals as "simply ludicrous."
The defendants had been "working to save lives amid very trying circumstances," said Philip Luther, Amnesty's deputy director for Middle East and North Africa Programme.
"It appears that the real reason for targeting these health workers was the fact that they denounced the government crackdown on protesters in interviews to international media."
Amnesty also condemned the Bahraini authorities' use of military courts to prosecute ordinary civilians, including doctors, teachers and human rights activists.