Danish activists to be retried in Bahrain

Danish-Bahraini activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja will be retried in Bahrain along with 20 others, according to his lawyer. Al-Khawaja, who was imprisoned for life last year after been found guilty of plotting against the state, has been on hunger strike since February.

“The Appeals Court has accepted that the case should be retried because al-Khawaja did not get a fair trial,” said a spokeswoman from the office of Mohamed al-Jishi, al-Khawaja’s lawyer. “The only proof the prosecution had against him was the admission he provided during torture,” she added.

A date for the hearing must now be set within the next two weeks, but, according to the BBC, the retrial will be held in a civil court, as opposed to a military court where al-Khawaja was first sentenced.

“The court is ordering that the trial take place again and that testimony from prosecution and defence witnesses be heard once more as if it is a new trial,” Bahraini News Agency BNA wrote.

It is not yet known whether al-Khawaja and the other activists will be released before the new trials or whether the Dane will discontinue with his hunger strike.

Al-Khawaja has spent the last 30 years campaigning for greater rights of the majority Shia Muslim population in Bahrain. He was granted Danish citizenship in the 1990s while living in exile in the European country.