JNN 28 April 2011 : Bahrain’s military court has sentenced four anti-government protesters to death,and three others for Life Imprisonment in a move to further crush the ongoing revolutionary movement in the small Persian Gulf country.
The Military court of first instance sentenced to death Ali Abdullah Hasan al-Singace, Qasim Hassan Mattar Ahmed, Saeed Abdul Jalil Saeed, and Abdul Aziz Abdullah Ibrahim Hussein, the official Three other civilians, Issa Abdullah Kazem Ali, Sadiq Ali Mahdi, and Hussein Jaafar Abdul Karim, were sentenced to life in prison,
it added. The trial of the seven began on April 17, with BNA news agency reporting at the time that they were accused of committing voluntary homicide of public officials with “terrorist” intentions.
Shiite former MP Matar Matar told AFP that although the verdict could be appealed, it cannot reach cassation for being issued by a court martial. Bahrain had declared a state of Martial Law, on March 16, a day before security forces crushed a month-long Shiite-led demonstration demanding democratic reforms
This comes while the Manama regime rejects reports by a number of human rights groups on massive rights violations in the country.
According to local sources, Bahraini authorities have raided hospitals, torturing doctors and injuring anti-government protesters in an effort to quell mass protests.
Human Rights Watch, Doctors Without Borders and Physicians for Human Rights have charged Bahraini security officials with systematic attacks on doctors and patients.
Physicians for Human Rights say doctors and nurses have been detained, tortured or disappeared because they have “evidence of atrocities committed by the authorities, security forces and riot police” in the crackdown on anti-government protesters.
Bahraini authorities have responded harshly to protests which began in February, following uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.
Rights groups say they were denied communication with family or friends and had little access to legal counsel.
Since mid-February, thousands of anti-government protesters in Bahrain, home to the US Navy Fifth Fleet major military base, have poured into the streets calling for an end to Al-Khalifa dynasty, which has ruled the country for over forty years.
On March 13, Saudi-led forces were dispatched to the Persian Gulf island at Manama’s request to quell countrywide protests.
According to local sources, dozens of people have been killed and hundreds arrested so far during the government clampdown on the peaceful demonstrations.
Witnesses addressed the tribunal, and a video allegedly showing the attackers in cars hitting police was played, the agency said. According to authorities, four police were killed after being struck by cars during the protests in the kingdom which is ruled by the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty.
The verdict concerning the killing of policemen Kashif Ahmed Manzur and Mohammed Farouk Abdulsamad could be appealed, BNA said.
It said the defendants were allowed access to lawyers and contact with their families, and representatives of Bahraini and foreign media, human rights groups and family members were allowed to attend the hearing.
Bahraini authorities have said 24 people were killed during the unrest, most of them demonstrators. On Wednesday, a Bahraini official said 405 detainees had been referred to military courts while 312 have been released. “Sixty-two criminal cases and 343 misdemeanor cases have been referred to the courts of national safety,” said the head of the information affairs authority, Sheikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa according to statement late on Wednesday. He said 312 detainees have been released, “some for health reasons,” and others after considering the period of their detention enough.
Bahraini authorities have come under strong criticism from international rights organisations over a heavyhanded crackdown on protesters from the Shiite-majority community in the kingdom that is ruled by a Sunni dynasty. The United States on Tuesday voiced concern over the fate of detainees, noting that some have died in custody. At least 567 people, including 38 women, remain in detention, Matar told AFP this week, out of around 1,000 people rounded up after security forces crushed the protest.
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