Published on Front Line (http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/)
Bahrain: Trial of seven human rights defenders postponed
Created 2008/02/05 - 19:15
Front Line is concerned following reports of the postponement of the court hearing of the seven human rights defenders: Maytham Badar Jassim Am-Sheikh, Hassan Abdelnabi Hassan, Abdullah Mohsen Abdulah Saleh, Ahmad Jaffar Mohammed Ali, members of the Unemployment Committee, Naji Ali Fateel, member of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR), Mohammed Abdullah Al Sengais, head of the Committee to Combat High Prices, and Ebrahim Mohamed Amin-Al-Arab, founding member of the Martyrs and Victims Committee.
Posted 05/02/2008 The court session was scheduled for 4 February 2008, at the High Criminal Court. On 4 February 2008, at approximately 10.00am, without the presence of the human right defenders, the presiding judge informed the lawyers of the defendants that the court session would be postponed until 3.00pm. At 3.00 pm, the court hearing went ahead without the presence of their lawyers. The trial was further adjourned until 24 February 2008.
The aforementioned human rights defenders were among a group of human rights defenders arrested by the Special Security Forces (SFF) between 21 and 28 December 2007, following demonstrations in Manama on 17 December 2007. They are currently being detained in the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB). Three were released without charges on 10 January 2008. The remaining seven human rights defenders face charges of having taken part in an ‘illegal gathering and rioting’ and of ‘theft of a weapon and ammunition and possession of a weapon and ammunition without permission’. Ebrahim Mohamed Amin-Al-Arab- has been charged with ‘possession of a weapon and ammunition without permission’.
Front Line believes that Abdullah Mohsen Abdulah Saleh, Naji Ali Fateel, Mohammed Abdullah Al Sengais, Maytham Bader Jassim Al-Sheikh, Ahmad Jaffar Mohammed Ali, Hassan Abdelnabi Hassan and Ebrahim Mohamed Amin-Al-Arab have been detained and subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading forms of ill-treatment and torture as a result of their legitimate and peaceful activities in defence of human rights.