Friday, May 13, 2011

'Bahrain to try over 1,000 detainees'

File photo shows anti-government protesters in Bahrain

Source: Press TV

A Bahraini rights body says Manama is to subject all the political prisoners to the substandard military trial, which has been issuing heavy-handed sentences against the oppositionists.

“Now, we have over 1,000 political prisoners,” Nabeel Rajab, who directs the non-governmental Bahrain Center for Human Rights, told Press TV on Thursday.

“It seems that they are going to try all people and [subject them to] this same procedure with this military court, which does not meet any international standard,” he noted.

The country's security court has been sentencing political activists to death and imprisonment as part of the state's frenzied efforts to suppress opposition.

In a popular revolution, thousands of anti-government protesters have been staging protests on Bahrain's streets since mid-February, calling for an end to the over-40-year rule of the Al Khalifa dynasty.

“As you know, the military trial is going on. Every day, there is somebody being sentenced. We do not know what is the procedure…. It is [a] very closed court. Nobody is allowed to get in except very few people, who are known to be close to government. Nobody can ask no question,” Rajab said.

He cited the case of one detainee, who had notified the judge of the threats he had received, should he speak out in the court against the government.

The detainee had told the court, “In this courtroom, I received the threat. If I talk (sic) to you I would be killed,” Rajab said, adding that “and the judge ignored him completely and tried not to listen to him.”

“He was not allowed to see his family later. So we do not know how is his condition,” he added.

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