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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Bahrain: Crackdown on Protestors...

A Bahraini court charged political activist Hussain Mansoor on January 23 with the assault and attempted murder of a security officer during a protest. The trial was postponed to February 17.
A February 3 trial for fifteen other protestors was also postponed to February 24 after lawyers boycotted the hearing, in protest of its late-afternoon timing. Bahrain is currently detaining at least fifty activists, arrested between December 21 and 28 following December 17demonstrations in which one protestor was killed.
In a January 21 statement, Human Rights Watch expressed serious concerns over allegations of torture and mistreatment of detainees.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights revealed on January 23 that the Ministry of Islamic Affairs refused to approve the distribution of the novel Omar, A Martyr by Bahraini novelist Abdullah Khalifa, alleging that it defames a religious figure. Click here for more information.
Bahrain issued a law to combat human trafficking on January 9. The law stipulates a prison penalty and fines ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 Bahraini dinars (U.S. $5,319 to 26,731). The law also calls for the formation of a committee to combat human trafficking, members of which have not been announced.

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