Bahrain acquits some teachers charged during unrest

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
(AFP/Getty Images)

(AFP/Getty Images)

A Bahraini court on Monday acquitted five members of a teachers union who had been charged with undermining national stability by organising sit-ins outside schools during last year's anti-government protests.

However the union's chairman, Mehdi Abu Deeb, and his deputy, Jalila al-Salman, remain on trial, saidMohsen al-Alawi, a lawyer for two of the acquitted teachers.

The Sunni Muslim-led Gulf kingdom, which hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet, is keen to show progress on reforms it pledged after international criticism of its crackdown on demonstrations led by members of its Shi'ite majority.

At least 1,000 people were detained during the unrest and several died under torture, by Bahrain's own admission.

Opposition parties say the government is merely trying to impress Western allies which had pushed it to allow an independent investigation of its handling of the protests and abuses committed during a period of martial law.

Abu Deeb and Salman are accused of disrupting schooling, broadcasting false news and threatening national security by encouraging protest marches and sit-ins.

Rights groups and foreign governments have condemned Bahrain for other crackdown-related prosecutions, including a trial now under way of 20 medical staff who treated wounded protesters.

A year ago the authorities quelled demonstrations seeking democratic reforms, curbs on the ruling family's power and an end to sectarian discrimination. A few Shi'ite groups had also called for the monarchy to be replaced with a republic.

Bahrain's rulers, who called in troops from fellow Sunni monarchies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as they crushed protests, say Shi'ite giant Iran is fomenting unrest among its co-religionists in the country. Iran denies this.

Related:
Topics
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Hussein

Bahrain demonstrating that it is a country of the rule of law.

The Government should take credit for a whole number of measures it has implemented over the last couple of months, including a new code of conduct for the security forces, trying those accused of abuses and transferring all trials to civilian courts. We have a king who acknowledges where his Government have made mistakes and takes action.

Bahrainis want reform, not revolution.

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
End of Gaza war doesn't translate into peace

End of Gaza war doesn't translate into peace

A week after the guns fell silent in the Gaza war, Israel and...

Is this the end of the Gulf’s Indian cash dash?

Is this the end of the Gulf’s Indian cash dash?

From currency woes to taxation loopholes closing and a clampdown...

2
Q&A with Dubai Chamber

Q&A with Dubai Chamber

We spoke with Essa Al Zaabi of Dubai Chamber of Commerce to find...

Most Popular
Most Discussed