No legal action against former detainees as Bahrain announces Day of Mourning

February 24, 2011

Manama: Bahrain on Thursday said that Friday would be a day of official mourning and confirmed that none of the 308 detainees and convicts released on Wednesday will face criminal proceedings related to the offence for which they had been held.

The ministry’s confirmation puts an end to speculations in Bahrain about possible legal problems mainly for the 23 people who were arrested in August on suspicion they formed and belonged to a group plotting to undermine the country’s stability and security.

Their trial waded into controversy after their initial set of lawyers walked out and the justice ministry appointed other lawyers to defend them. However, the suspects refused to cooperate with them, an attitude that made several lawyers pull out, even though they risked facing disciplinary action.

Under Bahrain law, suspects must have lawyers during their trial.

The release of the dozens of prisoners was in line with a key demand made by a massive rally on Monday that called the government to allow them. King Hamad said that subsequently that they would be freed and that their cases would be closed.

Protesters who have been camping at the Pearl Roundabout in Manama have feted their release with great fanfare.

An earlier demand to pull the army out of the streets was also met by Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa who is spearheading a nationwide dialogue to help Bahrain overcome the most intense crisis of its modern history.

Seven people were killed during ten days of protests and King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa has extended his condolences to the families of the victims. The Royal Court said that Friday would be a day of official mourning.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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