Amnesty International slams ‘unfair’ trial of Bahraini civilians at military courts

Amnesty International has expressed concern over “unfair” trials for civilians at military courts in Bahrain and called on King Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifah to order the retrial of four men who have recently been sentenced to life imprisonment.

In a report released on Wednesday, the UK-based rights group pointed to the death sentences issued against the four individuals, including three civilians, by the Military Court of Cassation on 25 April.

“Despite the King’s commutation of the sentences to life imprisonment the following day, Amnesty International remains concerned that these sentences were issued following unfair trials,” it said.

The report noted that the three convicted civilians, along with 14 others, are the first civilians to be tried by a military court in Bahrain since 2011.

“Amnesty International calls on King Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifah to quash the conviction against the four men and for them to be retried before an independent and competent ordinary court,” the report said.

“Military trials of civilians are inherently unfair as all officials in military courts, including judges, are serving members of the military,” the report pointed out.

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