Bahrain appeals court overturns sentences for protesters

Updated 27 December 2012
0

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.


Iran arrests culture ministry official over public dance

Updated 40 min 31 sec ago
0

Iran arrests culture ministry official over public dance

  • Iran arrested a senior official after a video posted online showed young boys and girls dancing in public in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad
  • The video shared on social networks showed young boys and girls dancing in a shopping mall, where a singer was performing for a huge crowd

TEHRAN: Iran on Thursday arrested a senior official after a video posted online showed young boys and girls dancing in public in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad, the judiciary said.
“The head of the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance in Mashhad was arrested for undermining public decency and disrespecting the laws,” the judiciary’s Mizan Online news agency said quoting a deputy prosecutor.
Islamic law in Iran prohibits public dancing.
The video shared on social networks showed young boys and girls dancing in a shopping mall, where a singer was performing for a huge crowd. The event took place on Tuesday.
Mohsen Afshar, a spokesman for the shopping center, told the ISNA news agency that a monthly draw is organized and a car given away to the lucky winner to attract customers.
According to Afshar the singer had the necessary “official permits to perform.”
The performance can attract 10,000-12,000 people, he said, including “some individuals whose behavior is contrary to the norms of the Islamic republic.”
But Heydari told Tasnim news agency that the mall was not authorized to organize such events.
Mashhad is a holy and conservative city where in 2016 concerts were banned by the Friday prayer leader, Ayatollah Ahmad Allamolhoda, who also told music-lovers to “Go somewhere else.”
Thursday’s arrest comes days after Tehran’s reformist mayor, Mohammad Ali Najafi, resigned after claims he was threatened with arrest.
Najafi had attracted criticism from hard-liners last month after attending in March a show at City Hall for Iranian Women’s Day in which schoolgirls performed a traditional dance.