Bahrain Mirror: Bahrain's Fourth High Criminal Court, presided over by judge Ali bin Khalifa Al-Dhahrani, with the membership of judges Hamad bin Salman Al Khalifa and Mohammad Jamal Awad, and Ahmad Al-Sulaiman as secretariat, sentenced 9 accused to 10 years in prison and another suspect to 3 years in prison after convicting them of setting fire to the car of a municipal candidate in the elections that the opposition boycotted.
The authorities claim that the accused gathered on October 23, 2014 in Al-Diraz and set fire to the candidate's car, Hussein Al-Hamer, after they poured petroleum on it, set it on fire with Molotov cocktails and then fled away. The candidate said that he received a phone call from his mother telling him that his "six-wheel" parked near his home is on fire. He then called the police to inform them about the incident and to send the civil defence to extinguish the fire. It was shown that his car was completely damaged and that the damage cost reached 2935 dinars. The victim also stated that he received a phone call from his mother telling him that his Camaro is on fire and that the damage cost reached about 1500 dinars.
Human rights organizations challenge the charges raised against the suspects since they doubt the independence of the judiciary, whose members are assigned by royal decrees, and since it issues sentences based on confessions extracted under duress and evidence presented by secret investigations and anonymous witnesses.