SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights has reached out to five UN Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups to update them on the latest regarding Sheikh Ali Salman’s trial, and they are: Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Peaceful Assembly and Association, Arbitrary Detention, Religious Freedom , and Human Rights Defenders.
The update informed them that Sheikh Ali Salman’s hearing has been adjourned for the fourth time in a row, to 20 May 2015. The update elaborated further, describing how the court refused to show clips of speeches cited as proof by the prosecution witness, that Sheikh Ali Salman was not given the case documents and papers from the first session of his trial, that he was prevented from pen and paper to write his defence, and further detailed the numerous arbitrary and unfair measures carried out.
The update also elaborated on the unreasonable and unjustified treatment of Sheikh Ali Salman’s defence counsel, where some were forcibly searched, whilst others were required to have all their documents examined.
Further, human rights NGO representatives and media outlets were barred from attending the hearings, even though it was described as public. Reports described that Bahrain’s security force members occupied over half the courtroom.
The update concluded that Sheikh Ali Salman court proceedings lack the conditions of a fair trial, and that there is a genuine and strong risk that his sentencing will be unfair, prejudiced and harsh.