A military court in Manama is due to hand down its verdict on 28 September on an appeal brought by a group of prominent opposition activists in Bahrain after they were jailed in one of the ongoing trials linked to pro-reform protests earlier this year.
The military-run National Safety Court of Appeal is expected to confirm or overturn the conviction of 14 people jailed for their alleged roles in mass demonstrations at the capital’s GCC Roundabout (formerly Pearl Roundabout) in February and March 2011.
Amnesty International has repeatedly criticized the unfair military trials at the National Safety Court of First Instance, which convicted and sentenced the 14 along with seven others who were tried in absentia. There has been no independent investigation into allegations by some of the defendants that they were tortured in pre-trial detention, when they were held incommunicado.
“These opposition leaders were tried and sentenced by a court that is neither independent nor impartial,” said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.