Human Rights Watch call for immediate release of ‘hundreds of detainees’

Human Rights Watch have published this statement, calling on the Bahraini Government to implement BICI recommendations and immediately release hundreds of wrongfully accused detainees:

(New York) – Bahraini authorities should quickly address the systematic and egregious rights violations documented by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, Human Rights Watch said today. As a first step, the government should immediately release hundreds of people wrongfully detained or convicted following unfair trials. And it should investigate high-level officials responsible for serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said.

Authorities should void all verdicts issued by the special military courts and drop all charges brought solely because people exercised their right to freely express political opinions and assemble peacefully. Authorities should only try civilians for legitimate criminal offenses, before a civilian court meeting international fair trial standards. These standards include the right of defendants to examine the evidence and witnesses against them, and the exclusion of all evidence obtained by torture or ill-treatment, Human Rights Watch said.

“The independent commission’s report gives Bahraini authorities an opportunity to remedy some of their gross abuses by releasing all persons convicted or held for exercising their rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “It is crucial for Bahrain to send a strong message that there will be no impunity for the human rights crimes documented by the Bassiouni commission.”

Go here for full statement http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/06/bahrain-release-people-jailed-speaking-out

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