Middle East

Bahrain activists recount abuse claims in retrial

Protesters holding white flags with pictures of Bahraini Human Rights Activist, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, participate in a 40th-day (Arbaoon) funeral procession of Salah Abbas Habib in the village of Bilad al-Qadeem west of Manama, June 2, 2012. (REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed)

MANAMA, Bahrain: A Bahraini defense lawyer says jailed activists challenging verdicts issued against them by a military-led tribunal recounted in court that they had been subjected to torture and beatings after their arrest.

Lawyer Mohsen al-Alawi says several of the defendants claimed Tuesday they faced abuse by police and others as part of a crackdown by Bahrain's Sunni leaders against a Shiite-led uprising calling for greater political rights.

The civilian court retrial for the 21-member group includes eight activists sentenced to life in prison for anti-state crimes.

Among them is Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who ended a more than 100-day hunger strike last week. Seven defendants were convicted in absentia.





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