Bahrain court to review Shiite opposition case


The accused, including Hassan Mesheima, head of the Shia-dominated opposition Haq (right) movement, Shia cleric Mohammed Al Moqdad and Haq spokesman Abdeljalil Al Singace were arrested last month.

“The court has decided to repeat the questioning of the public prosecution’s witnesses and not depend on the public prosecution’s investigations” on which the case was based, defence lawyer Mohammed Ahmed said.

“The court has responded to the defence request to reinvestigate the case after we filed a memorandum saying the prosecution has not remained neutral, especially after it allowed the publication the defendants’ pictures ahead of the trial,” Ahmed said.

The defendants had filed a complaint against the public prosecution over the airing of alleged confessions on television in December, a move that was also criticised by human rights groups. “The televised statements of young activists detained without access to lawyers smacks of coercion and should be tossed out of the courtroom,” Joe Stork, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Monday.

Representatives from Amnesty International and other Arab and international human rights watchdogs were present at the hearing, which was adjourned until April 28.

Ahmed said the court also agreed to the defence’s request to remove the defendants from solitary confinement. Haq was established in 2005 as a splinter group of the Islamic National Accord Association.



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