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Startseite Urgent Actions 2011 05 Bahraini opposition figures unfair trial
UA 139/11
Bahrain
Abgeschlossen am 23. Juni 2011

Bahraini opposition figures unfair trial

AI-Index: MDE 11/026/2011

14 opposition figures who led and participated in the demonstrations in February and March in Bahrain went on trial before a military court today. All 14 defendants denied the charges against them. Amnesty International opposes the trial of civilians before a military court. The trial will resume on 16 May 2011.

Today, fourteen defendants went on trial. Another seven were being tried in their absence. The 14 defendants are: Hassan Mshaima’; Ebrahim Sharif; Abdelwahab Hussain, ‘Abdulhadi al-Khawaja; Dr Abdel-Jalil al-Singace; Mohammad Habib al-Miqdad; Abdel-Jalil al-Miqdad; Sa’eed Mirza al-Nuri; Abdullah al-Mahroos; ‘Abdul-Hadi ‘Abdullah Hassan al-Mukhodher; Al-Hur Yousef al-Somaikh; Salah ‘Abdullah Hubail; Mohammad Hassan Jawwad; and Mohammad ‘Ali Ridha Isma’il.

Two foreign observers representing two international human rights groups were not allowed into the court. However, a few observers from local NGOs were present in the court.

Among the charges levelled against the defendants are that they set up “terror groups to topple the royal regime and change the constitution”. Amnesty International is concerned that the charges are vague and may be politically motivated. During the court hearing, all defendants denied the charges against them. Lawyers asked the Military Prosecution to release the defendants on bail. However, this request was rejected.

Many of the defendants are likely to be prisoners of conscience detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly and that they should be released immediately and unconditionally.

The defendants have been denied visits from their families in prison. Lawyers have been granted very limited access to them. They were allowed during questioning by the Military Prosecutor, but not during National Security Agency interrogations following the defendants’ arrests. Some of the 14 defendants, like Ebrahim Sharif and ‘Abdulhadi al-Khawaja have reportedly been tortured in detention. ‘Abdulhadi al-Khawaja said today in court "today I was threatened in this place, my life is in danger."

Additional Information

The 14 defendants have also been accused of “insulting the army; inciting hatred; disseminating false information; and taking part in rallies without notifying the authorities”. Amnesty International has previously called for the immediate release of some of the 14 defendants as the organization considered them to be prisoners of conscience: Hassan Mshaima’, Dr ‘Abdel-Jalil al-Singace, ‘Abdel-Wahab Hussain, Sa’eed Mirza al-Nuri; Ebrahim Sharif and ‘Abdul-Hadi ‘Abdullah Hassan al-Mukhodher.

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