Bahrain: Activists forced to sign confessions, court told

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Rights activists convicted of trying to overthrow the state claimed yesterday that they were forced to sign confessions

As a civilian court in Bahrain began a full review of their trials carried out under martial law, a defence lawyer said that the activists had also faced abuse in custody

The group includes Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who has been on hunger strike for three months and did not attend the session.

The appeals seek to overturn the sentences. But they are also challenging the credibility of a now-disbanded military-led court created as part of the crackdown against the nearly 15-month-old uprising against the monarchy.

Last month a court ordered a full re-examination – effectively a retrial – of the cases against Mr Khawaja and 20 other mostly Shia activists found guilty last year of plots to overthrow the kingdom's Western-allied Sunni dynasty.

Mr Khawaja and seven others were sentenced to life in prison and the others received lesser prison terms. Seven were sentenced in absentia.

Comments