Bahrain to review protesters' verdicts
Islam Times - Bahrain is reportedly establishing a judicial commission to review verdicts issued by a military court over people's involvement in anti-regime demonstrations.
The panel is being set up according to the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), which in November urged the government to revise verdicts handed down to protesters in a military tribunal.
The judicial commission would review the verdicts "in terms of applying international principles of fair trials, including the right to have a lawyer and proof verification," Sheikh Khalifa bin Rashid Al-Khalifa, the deputy head of Bahrain's Supreme Judicial Council, said in a statement on Monday.
The sentences were issued by the National Safety Court, established by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in mid-March under a three-month “state of national safety” to clamp down on pro-democracy protesters.
The BICI, also known locally in Bahrain as the Bassiouni Commission, named after the head of the commission professor Cherif Bassiouni, was established in June 2011 to investigate human rights violations during the Al Khalifa regime's crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations.
It denounced the "excessive and unjustified use of force" by the Bahraini authorities in handling the protests in its report issued in November.
Since mid-February, thousands of anti-government protesters have been staging regular demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.
According to the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, over 40 people have been killed and hundreds arrested during the months-long crackdown.
Physicians for Human Rights says 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.
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