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Bahrain: UN concerned about court sentences for teacher leaders

published 10 October 2011 updated 20 October 2011

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has voiced concern at the harsh sentences handed down by a military court to the two leaders of the EI Bahraini teacher association, 20 medical staff and at least 32 other individuals.

In a news conference on 30 September, the spokesperson for OHCHR, expressed concern at the harsh sentences ranging from three years’ imprisonment to the death penalty.

“For such harsh sentences to be handed down to civilians in a military court with serious due process irregularities raises severe concerns,” he said. “We call on the Government to ensure that every detained person is charged with a recognizable criminal offence and has enough time to prepare a defence case,” added the UN Human Rights Office spokesperson.

The Bahraini Teachers’ Association President, Mahdi Abu Dheeb, and Vice President, Jalila al-Salman, were sentenced to ten and three years’ imprisonment on 25 September.

EI has launched an Urgent Action Appeal and is joining a Global Union Statement.

Please send appeals urging the Bahraini authorities to release immediately and unconditionally Ms. al-Salman and Mr. Abu Deeb; protect them from torture or other ill-treatment; immediately set up a full, impartial and independent investigation into the reported ill-treatment of Ms. al-Salman; and bring those responsible to justice to:

His Majesty Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain P.O. Box 555, Rifa’a Palace, al-Manama, Bahrain Fax: +973 17664587

Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister Fax: +973 17533033; +973 175 32839

H.E. Majid bin Ali al-Naimi, Minister of Education Fax: +973 17273656; E-mail: [email protected]

EI had also sent an urgent request to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to further pursue the matter.

To see the back page on Bahrain published in the last issue of EI magazine, please click here.