Bahrain: BTA court case postponed for fourth time to 30 May
EI has learned that the Supreme Criminal Appeals Court has adjourned the case of Mahdi Issa Abu Dheeb and Jalila Al-Salman, from the Bahraini Teachers Association (BTA), to 30 May, and refused to release Mahdi on bail once more. Both were arrested after a crackdown by authorities following pro-democracy demonstrations.
Al Salman and Abu Dheeb were taken to a closed session with the judge on 2 May. After refusing the illegal procedure, their lawyers were brought in and back to the public session. Abu Dheeb is President of the BTA and Al-Salman is the union’s Vice President.
The defence team has once more asked the Court to include a report submitted by the defendants to the Bahraini Independent Commission of inquiry (BICI), as evidence of their alleged mistreatment. In a previous Appeal hearing, the Court agreed to include as evidence an official complaint of alleged mistreatment at the public prosecution by Abu Dheeb, to refer Abu Dheeb and Al-Salman for examination by an independent medical panel. None of these actions have taken place.
Al-Salman reported to EI that she was able to talk to the US Embassy representative and that human rights organisations were not allowed to attend the trial. EI has learned that a small group of protesters gathered outside the Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Ministry Complex in support of the Abu Dheeb and Al-Salman.
No movement by Bahrain
Meanwhile, Bahrain has not adhered to the BICI recommendations, and it has postponed until July the visit of the UN special rapporteur for torture. This was scheduled for last March, but Bahraini authorities stated they needed more time to put reforms in place. However, torture and abuse continue. In this regard, EI will continue to submit allegations of mistreatment to the UN.
In view of the request submitted to the International Committee of the Red Cross to liaise with the Red Crescent to visit Abu Dheeb in detention, EI has received communication from their offices informing that a visit has taken place and assessment of Abu Dheeb’s conditions of detention has been made. EI will also continue to submit information in the case and ask for visits to ensure that he is treated according to relevant international standards.
Support the BTA
The BTA colleagues need support more than ever, so international colleagues must keep the pressure on. In the face of injustice and brutal repression, EI will continue to call for justice and ensure that the Bahraini government respects human rights and commits to a path toward genuine reform.
In this regard, a global online campaign has been launched by EI in partnership with LabourStart. You can add your voice to Labour Start and take action now using the link below. You can also raise awareness of the LabourStart appeal by recommending it on your website and your Facebook account.
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