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Bahrain court confirms jail terms on protesting medics- BNA

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Mon, 1 Oct 2012 08:49 GMT
Author: Reuters
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DUBAI, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Bahrain's highest court confirmed on Monday jail sentences issued against nine medics convicted for their role in last year's pro-democracy uprising, state news agency BNA reported.

The controversial case has drawn international criticism to the U.S.-allied Gulf Arab state, which has been in turmoil since pro-democracy protests led by its Shi'ite Muslim majority erupted last year and were crushed by the Sunni rulers.

BNA quoted Attorney General Abdul-Rahman al-Sayed as saying that Bahrain's Court of Cassation has rejected all appeals presented by the defendants and confirmed the previous verdicts of prison terms of up to five years.

In June, the appeals court gave Ali al-Ekry, former senior medic at the Salmaniya hospital in Manama, a five-year sentence and eight others were handed jail terms ranging from one month to three years. It also acquitted nine others.

Two medics previously sentenced to 15 years each did not appeal and they are believed to be in hiding or to have left the country.

Washington and rights groups have criticised the June ruling, with Amnesty International saying it was a "dark day for justice".

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