36 Bahraini receive 429 years in prison, 13 stripped of citizenship

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SHAFAQNA – The Bahraini courts issued, on Monday, sentences against 36 citizens that amounted to 429 years in prison. A court sentenced 3 citizens to 15 years in prison and handed 10 others 10 year sentences, all with a case of political background.

In a separate one, also related to the political unrest in the country, the same court issued 15 year sentences against 16 citizens and 10 years against 3 citizens, and revoked the citizenships of 13 Bahrainis.

A third case saw 5 year sentences handed to 3 citizens and 3 year sentences handed to 3 others.

The political unrest in Bahrain started with eruption of nationwide protests that demanded democracy and justice in 2011.

Now these sentences are issued in conjunction with the fourth anniversary of the release of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry report, of which Bahrain is yet to implement key recommendations.

Just hours before the court’s rulings, Human Rights Watch released a report in which it said Bahrain’s security forces torture detainees during interrogation.

The report also said, “since Bahrain announced the institutional reforms in early 2012 there has been only one prosecution for torture and none relating to detentions associated with Bahrain’s political unrest”.

It said institutions formed by the government after 2011, like the Ombudsman and Special Investigation Unit, lacked independency and transparency. “The claims of Bahrain and its allies that authorities have ended torture in detention are simply not credible.

All the available evidence supports the conclusion that these new institutions have not effectively tackled what the BICI report described as a ‘culture of impunity’ among security forces”, said HRW’s Deputy Middle East Director, Joe Stork.

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