A Bahrain appeals court upheld verdicts against two teachers on Oct. 22 for organizing a teachers’ strike early last year to support anti-government protests. At their first hearing in front of a military tribunal, the pair were convicted of using their positions as vice-president and president of the Bahrain Teachers’ Association (BTA) to attempt to overthrow the Bahraini government through a teachers’ strike that halted the educational process and “incited hatred” against the regime. No evidence has been presented that they used or advocated violence of any means, according to an Amnesty International backgrounder. Mahdi ‘Issa Mahdi Abu Dheeb was sentenced to five years in prison while Jalila al-Salman was given a six-month sentence. Abu Dheeb has been detained for 18 months. Al-Salman was in confinement for five months but was released on bail. However, al-Salman has alleged torture while being detained.
Amnesty International considers both prisoners of conscience as long as they are detained and has called for their convictions to be overturned. The pair plan to appeal to the Bahrain Court of Cassation.
From Jurist, Oct. 23. Used with permission.