24 December 2011 IAA
The Public Prosecutor Dr. Ali bin Fadhl Al-Buainain announced today that charges relating to speech protected by the right to freedom of expression will be dropped in a number of cases stemming from the unrest in Bahrain earlier this year. However, other cases that involve crimes of violence and sabotage targeting people and properties will remain pending.
This decision affects 343 individuals in 43 cases and was based upon the ongoing assessment of the National Safety Court procedures and review of the legality of charges leveled against the accused. The measure is also in line with the findings of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) Report. Dr. Al-Buainain announced that the Public Prosecution would continue assessing cases relating to the right to protest and review those verdicts carefully.
Al-Buainain also revealed that the Interior Ministry had referred to the Public Prosecution cases and complaints relating to torture and abuse, and a team of prosecutors are now investigating the cases transparently and expeditiously. He announced that the testimonies of victims and plaintiffs will be heard at the beginning of next week, and the public will be informed upon completion of the investigations and the outcomes of the trials.