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EU joins Shameful International Charade of Rhetorical Concern as Regime Slams Shut Prison Doors of Injustice

EU ‘disappointed’ as Bahrain upholds activists’ sentences
5 September, 2012 – Agence France Presse

BRUSSELS: EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Wednesday she was “disappointed and concerned” after a Bahrain court upheld convictions against a score of activists accused of trying to overthrow the monarchy.

“I am disappointed and concerned at the decision of the Bahraini Court of Appeal to uphold the harsh sentences against Mr Abdulhadi Khawaja and nineteen other individuals,” Ashton said in a statement.

The court Tuesday retried 13 leading opposition figures, including seven facing life in prison, as well as seven others who remain at large.

Among those sentenced was Khawaja who in June ended a 110-day hunger strike.

The defendants, who played leading roles in month-long protests last year demanding democratic reforms, did not turn up in the appeals court, the lawyers said.

The opposition swiftly condemned the “vindictive” rulings and accused the court of staging “mock trials,” the United States expressed its concern, while London-based Amnesty International denounced the ruling as “outrageous.”

“I hope that the appeal before the Cassation Court will be fair, transparent and conducted in the full respect of international obligations Bahrain has subscribed to,” Ashton said.

“I will continue to monitor the process and the overall situation in the country very closely,” she added on behalf of the European Union.


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