Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bahrain Protests Flare after Activists Sentenced in Hybrid Court

Bahraini protesters took to the streets after a security court sentenced eight Shiite activists to life in prison. Fourteen of the 21 convicted are in custody while the rest were sentenced in absentia by the security court, which uses military prosecutors and a military-civilian tribunal. The report said those sentenced to life include prominent Shiite political figures Hassan Mushaima and Abdul Jalil al-Singace and rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja.  "The court has presided over a series of cases linked to the protests, including issuing two death sentences against men accused of killing police officers during the demonstrations. Earlier this month, it sentenced a 20-year-old woman to a year in prison for reading poetry critical of Bahrain's king."  Next week, the trial against 30 doctors and nurses accused of supporting the protests will continue. Some of the medical personnel claim they were abused while in custody.