Monday Hearings Offers Bahraini Government Opportunity to Demonstrate Commitment to Reform
Washington, DC – On Monday, the Bahrain government has a unique opportunity to signal its intention to really reform by dropping charges against prominent dissidents, said Human Rights First. “For all of its talk about a commitment to rectifying past mistakes, Monday is a day that the regime should act to demonstrate its commitment to reform. The regime should take meaningful action by dropping its case against the 21 opposition leaders and activists facing prison sentences, as well as against two leaders of the teachers’ union. All of them will appear in court on Monday,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. Each of the dissidents in court on Monday were tortured, subjected to show trials in a military court, and sentenced to long prison terms. They include prominent human rights activist Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, whose health is fast deteriorating due to his hunger strike, and teacher leaders Jalila al Salman and Mahdi Abu Deeb. “The unfair process that resulted in these military court convictions erases all legitimacy to these cases. The convictions should be thrown out on Monday,” concluded Dooley. “The U.S. Government observers have seen for themselves the farce of the military court in operation. It’s time for America to publicly call for all these verdicts to be quashed and those convicted to be immediately freed.” For more information about Monday’s proceeding or to speak with Dooley, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at 202-370-3323 or [email protected].