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Bahrain appeals court overturns sentences for protesters

DUBAI: A Bahraini appeals court overturned yesterday death and prison sentences issued earlier to protesters for their role in a pro-democracy uprising, a defense lawyer said.
The ruling Al Khalifa family brought in Gulf Arab troops and imposed two months of martial law to end violent protests. The High Criminal Court of Appeals commuted the death sentence issued last year for two men convicted of killing two policemen to life in prison, lawyer Mohammed Al-Jishi told Reuters.
The court commuted the life sentences for two others involved in the same case to 15 years in jail, he said.
The court also cut to 15 years in prison the life sentences issued in October 2011 for 13 men for killing a Pakistani during the protests, Jishi said. One man was set free.
The Bahrain government says it has taken steps to address the brutality of security forces by dismissing those responsible and introducing cameras at police stations to monitor abuses.
The appeals court also reduced sentences of 15 years in prison that were handed last year to 15 people for the attempted murder of a soldier, vandalizing the buildings at the University of Bahrain and “inciting hatred of the ruling system”, Jishi said.
The new sentences vary between three, five and seven years in jail.

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