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Title: Bahrain: Students’ rights gravely violated through sham trials, expulsions and unfair detention
Publication: Bahrain Center for Human Rights
Country: Bahrain
Published Date:
September 12, 2012

More than a year and a half following the start of the revolution in Bahrain, university students are still being subjected to sham trials, unlawful imprisonment and prevention from continuing their studies. The Bahrain center for human rights (BCHR) is gravely concerned over these continuous violations of human rights against university students.

Sham Trials

On Thursday 06 September 2012, the high criminal court ruled in the cases of 96 defendants accused in the 13 March University of Bahrain thug attack incident which included students, staff, administrators and a security guard. The court upheld sentences of 84 students, reduced prison sentence against 3 to 3 months’ imprisonment and acquitted 9 [1].

The lawyer S. Mohsen Al Alawi stated to the BCHR, in a previous statement, that some of the accused students were not present in the university on 13 March 2011 and others were from the Isa Town campus while the said events took place at the Sakheer campus. He said that “the judge refused the defense’s request to call upon public figures that stated on Bahrain Television (BTV) that they were present in the University of Bahrain, like the university president and head of Riffa police station”.

Lawyers provided the court with photos of well-known figures from the university incident who were holding weapons, bars and clubs. Even though criminal procedure law allows the court to accuse new defendants when their relation to the case is proved, the judge did not respond to lawyers’ requests.

Unfair detention

Jawad Al Mahary, Shawqi Radhi, Jassim Al Hulaibi, Jassim AlMukhodher, Ali AlMoolani, Yousif Ahmed, Ebrahim Al Fardan and Sayed Amjad Faisal are university students who have been accused in 3 different cases related to the 13 March incident in the University of Bahrain. They have been sentenced up to 15 years’ imprisonment, having spent more than a year in prison on falsified charges. On 10 September 2012, the appeal hearing was adjourned to 3 October which prolongs the time the students have already unfairly served. Although witnesses confirmed that some defendants were not in the university on 13 March 2012 while others were not involved in the violence. Many witnesses testified in the court that they saw men holding swords, knives, stones and bars, those men were not students as they looked older and were not seen before in the campus, they were the reason behind the violence. The juridical system is ignoring evidences and witnesses confirming that the detained students were not part of the University of Bahrian March 13 events.

According to their family members, Jaw prison’s condition, where students are detained [3], is very poor and every four detainees are kept in one very small cell.

Expulsion from University

Mahmood Habib is a medical student on a scholarship to the University of King Faisal in Saudi Arabia. He was in his 6th year of studies – which is the last year – and was due to take his final exam. However, he was not allowed by the university administration. Mahmood was not informed of the reasons behind his ban and was asked to wait. During that, he was called for investigation by the university. The investigation panel told him that complaints were submitted by some of his colleagues accusing him of inciting hatred towards the Bahraini regime during a presentation. Mahmood requested to be given the chance to prove that those allegations were not true and bring witnesses. At the end of the investigation, he was told that he was being suspended. He contacted the University’s president, Scholarship Office in the Ministry of Education, Bahraini Cultural Council and other official parties but there was no answer. He was recently informed of being permanently expelled from the university, although he was never accused or charged with any offense [4].
Mahmood has been fighting for his right to resume his studies, take his final exams and graduate, however more than a year on, he has not yet been reinstated. He is one of four Bahraini students who were deprived of their studies in Saudi Arabia since last year. While his colleagues are back to their university and their travel ban has been lifted, Mahmood remains expelled.
Mohammed Al Hulaibi, one of the students serving 15 years’ imprisonment, had his scholarship revoked by the Ministry of Education and was told to pay back BD1416, according to his father, although he is still appealing and the sentence is not final.

Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) appeals upon human rights and educational organizations to call the Bahraini authorities to immediately:
• Release Jawad Al Mahary, Shawqi Radhi, Jassim Al Hulaibi, Jassim AlMukhodher, Ali AlMoolani, Yousif Ahmed, Ebrahim Al Fardan, Sayed Amjad Faisal and all detained students who were unlawfully detained on back of the protests in 2011
• Reinstate Mahmood Habib to his university to take his final exams and graduate
• Reverse all sentences based on sham trials
• Demand the Ministry of Education to stop all discriminatory actions against students.

[2] University students sentenced to 15 years imprisonment and ongoing sham trials
[3]Jaw prison report
[4] Bahraini & Saudi authorities violating Bahraini students' rights: travel ban, new expulsion from study and sham trials.


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