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Bahrain court reduces sentences for police officers convicted of torture,

A Bahrain appellate court on Sunday reduced the prison sentences of two police officers convicted of torturing and murdering a detainee after opposition protests in March 2011. The lower court sentenced the officers to seven years in prison in December, but the appellate court reportedly reduced the sentences [AFP report] to three years. The officers were convicted of killing Abdul Karim Fakhrawi, publisher and co-founder of Al Wasat Daily [media website], a news company that allegedly showed support for Shiite-led protests against the Bahraini government in March 2011.

Anti-government protests in early 2011 spurred numerous legal proceedings in Bahrain. In July a Bahrain criminal court acquitted [JURIST report] two police officers on trial for the torture of six Shiite doctors during the uprising against the Sunni regime in 2011. In May a Bahrain court sentenced [JURIST report] 31 people to 15 years for their participation in firebomb attacks as part of anti-government protests. In March a Bahrain court reversed the convictions [JURIST report] for 21 medics who were arrested at a hospital during the 2011 protests. The group of medics were originally charged with taking part in unauthorized demonstrations after treating protesters who were injured by police and have alleged that they were tortured and coerced into making confessions following their arrest. At least 28 medics were charged, but most of the sentences have been overturned. However, in October of last year, the Bahrain Court of Cassation upheld jail sentences [JURIST report] issued to nine medics for allegedly participating in anti-government protests.

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