Two former Bahraini opposition lawmakers, Matar Matar and Jawad Fairooz went on trial on Sunday as they were charged with spreading malicious lies in an attempt to overthrow the government, along with a twenty-year old poet, on similar grounds.
According to official Sheikh Abdul-Aziz bin Mubarak, both men have pleaded not guilty and will remain in custody until their next hearing. The legal proceedings started on Sunday without prior notice after the small, but strategically important Gulf Kingdom was swept with protests earlier this year as part of the Arab Spring demonstrations.
Both men were seized on the 2nd of May, 2011 and according to Matar’s relative, he was taken from his car by armed men in masks. Matar represented the biggest constituency in Bahrain, with approximately 16, 000 people. Matar along with other Wefaq lawmakers resigned earlier this year to protest the crackdown on demonstrations after being elected to the lower house of Parliament in October 2010.
Nabeel Rajab, Bahraini human rights activist alleged that the trials were not of international standards as the defendants had no access to their lawyers and also were not informed that they were being taken to the court.
Meanwhile poet Ayat al-Qormozi, 20, was found guilty of assembling at Pearl Roundabout, the epicenter of anti-government demonstrations and was also charged for speaking out against the Bahrain and the king.
Al-Qormozi has been detained since the 30th of March, 2011 after her father led security forces to her in the face of threats to his other children’s lives. She alleges that she received electric shocks to her face and was beaten with a hose while in detention.
Bahrain Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa pledged cooperation from the government to reach national consensus so as to ensure a better future for the kingdom. And Crown Prince Salman thanked US President Barrack Obama for his backing of a national dialogue.
Report by – Sumit