Bahrainis rally, defy regime crackdown

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Thursday, 06 October 2011


shiitenews bahrain protestAnti-government protesters once again have poured onto streets across Bahrain in defiance of a heavy-handed Saudi-backed regime crackdown.
The overnight protest rallies took place in several villages, including Sitra, Hamala and Barbar. The demonstrators denounced the Bahrain military court for handing down harsh sentences to anti-regime protesters and medics, demanding the release of political prisoners.

The harsh sentences have drawn international criticism. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed ''deep concern'' over the sentences and called for the release of all political detainees in Bahrain.
The United Nations human rights office has also said that the trials failed to meet international standards of transparency as the arrested suspects were allowed limited access to lawyers for legal advice. Moreover, many of the detainees were forced to sign confessions either under brutal torture or under the threat of such measures.
Since mid-February, thousands of anti-government protesters have been staging regular demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling on the US-backed Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.

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The protests came after a Bahraini military court on Wednesday sentenced 19 more opposition activists to jail terms for participating in anti-government protests earlier this year.
The activists received sentences ranging from a 12-month prison sentence to five years in jail for allegedly trying to burn down a police station in the capital during anti-regime protests.
The activists were also charged with taking part in public gatherings "with intent to commit crimes and breach security". Over the past few days, the National Safety Court, which has a mixed military and civil panel, has sentenced more than 100 opposition activists and medics to jail for various alleged charges over involvement in massive anti-government protests in the country.
The harsh sentences have drawn international criticism. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed ''deep concern'' over the sentences and called for the release of all political detainees in Bahrain.
The United Nations human rights office has also said that the trials failed to meet international standards of transparency as the arrested suspects were allowed limited access to lawyers for legal advice. Moreover, many of the detainees were forced to sign confessions either under brutal torture or under the threat of such measures.
Since mid-February, thousands of anti-government protesters have been staging regular demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling on the US-backed Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.

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