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Verdict tomorrow in Bahraini opposition activists' appeal

Tomorrow (Tuesday 14 August) the final verdict in the appeal by 13 opposition activists and prisoners of conscience in Bahrain is due to be handed down.  

Amnesty International has mandated Dr Ghanim Hamad Alnajjar, an internationally recognised human rights expert, to attend and observe the proceedings at the High Criminal Court of Appeal in Manama.

Dr Ghanim will be available for interviews, in English and Arabic, after the hearing.

The 13, who include prominent activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, were originally sentenced by a military court in June 2011 to between two years and life in prison on charges including “setting up terror groups to topple the royal regime and change the constitution”. All of the 13 maintain their innocence.

Several of the defendants have described in previous court hearings how they allegedly suffered torture (including sexual assault) during their detention to coerce “confessions” from them.

Amnesty considers the 13 to be prisoners of conscience, held solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly and has repeatedly called on the Bahraini authorities to quash the activists' convictions and release them immediately and unconditionally.

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