Channel: Bahrain Center for Human Rights
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Bahrain: 115 citizens sentenced in a mass trial

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) condemns the recent judicial verdicts issued by the Bahraini courts following a mass trial. On 15 May 2018, a Bahraini court sentenced a total of 115 citizens to imprisonment, 53 to life imprisonment and 62 to prison terms of 3 to 15 years. 23 were acquitted. These sentences came after an "unfair" mass trial of the defendants, the court relying on confessions obtained under conditions of torture. 

The court has charged the defendants with terrorism-related charges and charges related to contact with third parties, charges that were only substantiated from confessions obtained under conditions of torture during the investigation. The details of the conditions under which the confessions have been obtained were not investigaed, in the same way as the accountability of those involved in the comission was not investigated. In this case of mass trial, defendants were subjected to many violations, including enforced disappearance, which lasted over 30 days. They were also beaten and threatened in order to force them to confess. BCHR also documented some of these violations.

The official authorities also denied knowing the whereabouts of the accused while hiding, after reviewing their parents to these bodies several times.

BCHR considers this trial to be an unfair trial, a "new judicial farce" and a futile trial because it lacked the most basic standards of justice and did not comply with international fair trial standards. These provisions also constitute a flagrant violation of international conventions, particularly the International Covention on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Bahrain, which criminalizes the subjection of any person to torture or degrading treatment and states that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality.

Based on the above, BCHR calls upon the Government of Bahrain to:

• Repeal all judgments in this case;

• Stop using nationality revocation as a tool of political suppression;

• Investigate the details of the conditions of torture of the accused and the accountability of those involved in the commission.

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