Authorities Re-arrest Dozens of Political Defendants in Diraz Sit-in Case
2019-04-02 - 6:24 am
Bahrain Mirror: Judge Ebrahim Al-Zayed ordered the arrest of about 30 Bahrainis from the political defendants whom the first-instance court had issued prison terms against in Diraz sit-in case. The defendants were among those who attended the first appeals hearings held on Monday (April 1, 2019).
Eyewitnesses said that a very heated exchange errupted between a lawyer and the judge, which frustrated him and made him adjourn the case. He then ordered the arrest of about 30 defendants among those who attended the session and returned them to prison after being released following more than one year on a bail at an order of the first-instance court in January 2018.
The case was adjourned until April 8 for pleading.
171 defendants appeared before the court, in the biggest case on terms of number of defendants. They were accused of involvement in an open sit-in outside the home of the spiritual leader of the Shiite majority in Bahrain, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim.
The defendants were arrested along with about other hundred in the security campaign launched by the authorities to disperse Diraz sit-in in May 2017. 5 citizens were martyred in the campaign and hundreds were injured.
About one year and two months after the trial, the first instance court convicted 167 of the Diraz protestors on February 27. The sentences ranged from 6 months to 10 years' imprisonment, and the court acquitted 4 others.
The court handed down 10-year jail term to 52 political defendants, one-year jail term to 101 defendants, 3-year jail term to 9 and 6-month jail term to 4.