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Bahrain: Court Presided over by Ruling Family Member Toughens Sentence against Opposition Leader

2016-05-30 - 9:35 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): A Bahrain appeals court, presided over by a member of the ruling Al Khalifa family ranked up the prison sentence issued against the opposition leader and Secretary-General of Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society Sheikh Ali Salman on Monday (May 30, 2016).

The court sentenced Sheikh Salman to 9 years in prison, after a first degree court had handed down a 4-year prison term to the Sheikh.

On the onset of 2016, judge Mohammad bin Ali Al Khalifa, who issued a harshened ruling against the Al-Wefaq head, was appointed as High Appeals Court president, replacing judge Isa Al-Ka'abi, who was appointed by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa as a member of the constitutional court.

Al-Wefaq, alongside many other opposition factions, call for a transition to a constitutional monarchy, putting an end to the ruling Al Khalifa family's monopoly over power in Bahrain.

The Bahraini king chairs the Supreme Judicial Council, which is in charge of appointments in the judiciary.

The opposition, among other demands, calls for the establishment of a "independent judiciary", which human rights organizations say is used by the Bahraini authorities as "a tool of oppression."

Amnesty International has stated in its annual report that trials of dissidents in Bahrain lack impartiality.

Arabic Version


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