[JURIST] A police officer in Bahrain has been sentenced to seven years of imprisonment [BNA report, in Arabic] for fatally shooting a protester during pro-democracy protests that gripped country in February 2011, according to Bahrain’s State News Agency (BNA). Lead Prosecutor for the Special Investigation Unit Nawaf Abdullah Hamza told BNA that a criminal court in Bahrain determined the policeman fired the shot that killed Ali Abdul al-Mushaima. Al-Mushaima was the first protester to die [Reuters report] in the 2011 unrest. After the death of Al-Mushaima and protester Fadhel Salman Matrook, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa ordered an independent investigation [JURIST report] into the use of force against protesters. The independent commission released its report at the end of November 2011, and one week later the King ordered a special commission to convene [JURIST reports] to follow up on the findings of the independent investigation into the violent crackdown on protesters.
Bahrain has imprisoned numerous activists in the wake of the 2011 protests and banned all protests [JURIST report] effective October 2012. In January a court in Bahrain released [JURIST report] human rights activist Sayed Yousif Al-Muhafda on bail pending trial for charges of spreading false news to harm security. Also in January the highest Bahraini appellate court upheld the convictions [JURIST report] of 13 prominent pro-democracy protestors convicted by military tribunal in 2011 on charges of plotting to overthrow the monarchy. In December Bahrain’s High Criminal Court of Appeals commuted death sentences [JURIST report] for two protesters, instead sentencing them to life imprisonment. Earlier in December the prison sentence for outspoken Bahraini rights activist Nabeel Rajab was reduced by one year [JURIST report]. In November Amnesty International released a brief detailing how Bahrain had failed to meet its obligations [JURIST report] and promises to ensure respect for human rights and prevent further torture within the country. In October the Bahrain appeals court upheld verdicts against two teachers [JURIST report] for organizing a teacher’s strike to support anti-government protests. Earlier in October the Bahrain Court of Cassation upheld jail sentences [JURIST report] issued to nine medics convicted for their involvement in Bahrain’s pro-democracy uprising in February and March of 2011.