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Appeal to Court of Cassation Filed in Abdulhadi Al Khawaja's Case in Bahrain
Front Line Defenders Demands IMMEDIATE RELEASE of ABDULHADI AL KHAWAJA From Detention.
Dublin, Ireland, October 27, 2011 – As lethal force and suppression by security forces continue to be used against civilian protesters in Bahrain, the legal proceedings involving human rights defender Abdulhadi Al Khawaja move to the Court of Cassation. Today, Abdulhadi’s lawyers filed an appeal to the Court to apply for a legal review of the proceedings of the National Safety Court, which sentenced Abdulhadi to life in prison, despite a patently unfair trial and without minimum provisions for his lawyer to defend him.
Front Line Defenders renews its call to the Bahraini authorities to release Abdulhadi Al Khawaja and other human rights defenders from detention pending the legal review and to drop the charges against Abdulhadi Abdulhadi Al Khawaja was one of 21 human rights defenders and political activists arrested in April 2010 during the violent clampdown on political protests.
Andrew Anderson, Deputy Director of Front Line Defenders, said “Abdulhadi has been tortured, held incommunicado for periods of time during his detention, and put in a show trial, all because he took peaceful, nonviolent action for human rights and political reform. The Public Prosecutor in Bahrain has already acknowledged that torture was used against the medics, and he should also acknowledge and investigate the use of torture in this case as well. But most importantly, for Bahrain to emerge from this period of repression, the authorities must immediately release Abdulhadi and drop the politically-motivated charges against him.”
Abdulhadi Al Khawaja is an internationally respected human rights defender who worked for three years with Front Line Defenders supporting the security and protection of human rights defenders across the Middle East and North Africa Region. Front Line Defenders remains concerned about the conditions of imprisonment of Bahraini human rights defenders and is also calling for the sentence against the renowned blogger and human rights defender Ali Abdulemam, who was tried in absentia, to be dismissed.
It is now 8 months since the first protests calling for change started in Bahrain. It is six months since Abdulhadi Al Khawaja was detained in the middle of the night and four months since he was sentenced to life in prison. Every day Abdulhadi spends in prison is another dark day for human rights defenders around the world.
Click here for video statement.
Contact: Andrew Anderson
Front Line Defenders