Monday, April 18, 2011

Military Court for Anti-government Protestors in Bahrain

The Associated Press reports that seven detained anti-government protesters will go on trial before a Bahrain military court for the killing of two policemen.  A military prosecutor charged seven suspected opposition supporters Sunday with premeditated murder of the two policemen.  The group's defense attorney himself has been arrested. Security forces took Mohammed al-Tajer, described as one of the most prominent human rights attorneys in Bahrain, into custody on Saturday. The group has a court hearing scheduled for tomorrow.
Other opposition leaders also face military charges. The editors of Al Wasat have been charged with "publishing fabricated news," ''harming public safety" and "damaging national interests."

Earlier this month the authorities banned media from covering legal proceedings in the country's military courts. There has been a harsh crackdown on dissent in the Gulf kingdom.  Hundreds of protesters, opposition leaders and human rights activists have been taken into custody since Bahrain imposed martial law last month.  Human Rights Watch reports that since March 15, Bahrain "has been subject to martial law, officially labeled a state of 'National Safety,' that gave authorities wide powers of arrest, censorship, and prohibitions on freedom of movement and association."