Bahrain upholds convictions of teachers for organizing strike efforts

A Bahrain appeals court upheld verdicts against two teachers on Oct. 22 for organizing a teachers' strike early last year to support anti-government protests. At their first hearing in front of a military tribunal, the pair were convicted of using their positions as vice-president and president of the Bahrain Teachers' Association (BTA) to attempt to overthrow the Bahraini government through a teachers' strike that halted the educational process and "incited hatred" against the regime. No evidence has been presented that they used or advocated violence of any means, according to an Amnesty International backgrounder. Mahdi 'Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb was sentenced to five years in prison while Jalila al-Salman was given a six-month sentence. Abu Dheeb has been detained for 18 months. Al-Salman was in confinement for five months but was released on bail. However, al-Salman has alleged torture while being detained.

Amnesty International considers both prisoners of conscience as long as they are detained and has called for their convictions to be overturned. The pair plan to appeal to the Bahrain Court of Cassation.

From Jurist, Oct. 23. Used with permission.

Bahrain overturns sentences of political protesters

Bahraini defense lawyer Mohammed al-Jishi announced that the High Criminal Court of Appeals on Dec. 26 commuted death sentences for two male protesters to life imprisonment. The men were sentenced for their role in Bahrain's 2011's political uprisings when they allegedly killed two policemen. Two other in the killing had their sentences reduced to 15 years in prison. The court also cut life sentences issued to 13 men for killing a Pakistan citizen during the protests to 15 years in prison. Additionally the court reduced the sentences of 15 people jailed for the protest inspired attempted murder of a Bahraini soldier. 

From Jurist, Dec. 26. Used with permission.

Death by tear-gas sparks Bahrain controversy

Bahrain has seen a new wave of protest after an eight-year-old boy died Jan. 26, nine days after being stricken by tear-gas when security forces attacked his village, Karbabad. The group Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain called for an investigation into the boy’s death based on a report from the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. (NYT's The Lede blog, Jan. 29)

Bahrain: officer gets seven years for killing protester

A police officer in Bahrain has been sentenced to seven years of imprisonment for fatally shooting a protester during pro-democracy protests that gripped country in February 2011, according to Bahrain's State News Agency (BNA). Lead Prosecutor for the Special Investigation Unit Nawaf Abdullah Hamza told BNA that a criminal court in Bahrain determined the policeman fired the shot that killed Ali Abdul al-Mushaima.

Al-Mushaima was the first protester to die in the 2011 unrest. After the death of al-Mushaima and protester Fadhel Salman Matrook, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa ordered an independent investigation into the use of force against protesters. The independent commission released its report at the end of November 2011, and one week later the King ordered a special commission to convene] to follow up on the findings of the independent investigation into the violent crackdown on protesters.

From Jurist, Feb. 1. Used with permission.