Bahrain opens review of activist convictions

By Updated at 2012-05-08 09:25:08 +0000


MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — A defense lawyer says a civilian court in Bahrain has begun proceedings to re-examine convictions against a jailed hunger striker and 20 other activists.

Lawyer Hasan Radhi says 11 defendants appeared in court Tuesday, but hunger striker Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and another ailing inmate were not present.

A military-led court sentenced 21 activists to prison last year as part of crackdowns on the ongoing Shiite-led uprising against Bahrain's Sunni monarchy. Seven of the convictions were in absentia, and one man has been released.

A court last month ordered a full re-examination of the charges by a civilian court.

Al-Khawaja, who was sentenced to life in prison, has been on a hunger strike for three months but has been receiving medical care.