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Mon 1 Oct 2012 12:47 PM

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Bahrain court confirms jail terms for medics

Nine medics convicted of role in last year's protests will get terms of up to five years

Bahrain court confirms jail terms for medics
Bahrains highest confirmed on Monday jail sentences issued against nine medics convicted for their role in last years pro-democracy uprising.

Bahrain's highest confirmed on Monday jail sentences issued against nine medics convicted for their role in last year's pro-democracy uprising, state news agency BNA reported.

The controversial case has drawn international criticism to the US-allied Gulf Arab state, which has been in turmoil since pro-democracy protests led by its Shi'ite Muslim majority erupted last year and were crushed by the Sunni rulers.

BNA quoted Attorney General Abdul-Rahman al-Sayed as saying that Bahrain's Court of Cassation has rejected all appeals presented by the defendants and confirmed the previous verdicts of prison terms of up to five years.

In June, the appeals court gave Ali al-Ekry, former senior medic at the Salmaniya hospital in Manama, a five-year sentence and eight others were handed jail terms ranging from one month to three years. It also acquitted nine others.

Two medics previously sentenced to 15 years each did not appeal and they are believed to be in hiding or to have left the country.

Washington and rights groups have criticised the June ruling, with Amnesty International saying it was a "dark day for justice".