Prominent Bahraini Human Rights Defenders In Court Next Week
Washington, D.C. – Next week, just days after a shocking ruling confirmed the jail sentences of 13 leading Bahraini dissidents, another set of court cases will test the Kingdom’s commitment to human rights reform. Several prominent politically-motivated prosecutions will take place next week, including:
- Sunday, September 9 – The court will hear final arguments in the case of Bahrain Teachers Association President Mahdi Abu Deeb and Vice-President Jalila Al Salman, who face charges for allegedly organizing a teacher’s strike following the 2011 protests.
- Monday, September 10 – Zainab Al Khawaja will have her court hearing on various charges related to peaceful protests. She is the daughter of prominent Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who is currently serving a life sentence in prison.
- Monday, September 10 – Nabeel Rajab, President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, will appeal his three-year sentence for his part in “illegal gatherings.”
- Tuesday, September 11 – Verdicts are expected for 28 medics tried for their perceived association with last year’s protests and officially charged with offenses including inciting hatred against the regime and taking part in illegal gatherings.
“All of these defendants face charges that are politically motivated. All of them have lacked access to a fair legal process and all should be immediately and unconditionally released,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “The United States must closely monitor these trials and make clear that Bahrain has a responsibility to implement its promised reforms and that there will consequences for failing to do so.” In the wake of last week’s decision, U.S Government officials said they were “deeply troubled” by the verdicts.