Monday, May 2, 2011

In Bahrain, not Libya

Four anti-government protesters in Bahrain were sentenced to death on Thursday by a military court over the killing of two policemen when violence erupted in the capital last month.

The ruling means the four men could be the first to face a firing squad in Bahrain since 2007. It has dismayed human rights activists who claim the men did not receive a fair trial, and the British Foreign Office urged Bahrain "to ensure that due process is carefully and transparently followed in all cases, particularly where severe penalties are proposed".

The defendants' lawyer, Mohammed al-Tajer, was arrested in the runup to the hearing, and Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, said his replacement may not have had enough time to prepare for such a serious case. He added the decision to try the civilians in a military court which is ultimately controlled by Bahrain's ruling family breached norms of international human rights.

Bahrain, our ally, continues to do what we invaded Libya for not yet starting to do.

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