Bahrain Shia activists accused of aiding terrorism


Jalila al-Sayed, who is defending Hassan Mesheima, the head of the opposition group Haq (’Rights’ in Arabic), said the three charges are based onoffences in Sunni-ruled state’s anti-terrorism law.

“My client and the two other accused men (cleric Mohammed al-Moqdad and Abduljalil Alsingace, who is Haq spokesman), have denied the charges against them,” she said.

The public prosecutor has ordered Mesheima and Moqdad to be remanded in custody for two weeks and Alsingace to be kept under house arrest, Sayed said.

The three were arrested after they refused on Sunday to appear in front of the prosecutor without being told the charges against them.

“The summons mentioned no accusation,” Sayed said, adding: ”Every summons has to mention the charge, even if it is only jumping a red light.”

Alsingace told AFP on Sunday that he considered the summons ”malicious”.

Last July, 11 Shia opposition activists were sentenced to jail terms of between one and seven years for their part in clashes with police last December.

The violence followed the death of a demonstrator at an opposition rally to demand compensation for victims of alleged human rights violations.

Bahrain was plagued in the 1990s by a wave of Shia-led unrest which has abated since the authorities launched steps earlier this decade to convert the Gulf emirate into a constitutional monarchy.

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