UN chief concerned about "harsh sentences" for activists in BahrainListen /
Authorities in Bahrain have been urged by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to ensure that international human rights are applied in dealing with political activities in the country.
The call comes after an appeals court in the country upheld convictions of 20 activists and opposition leaders for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government.
The verdicts, issued by a military court, are in connection with a crackdown on pro-democracy protests in the Gulf State last year.
Charles Appel reports.
Eight of the 20 activists and opposition leaders convicted of plotting to overthrow the Government in Bahrain have been sentenced to life in prison.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he is concerned about what he describes as the "harsh sentences" upheld by a Bahraini appeals court against the activists.
He urges the authorities to allow all the defendants to exercise their right to appeal and to ensure that due process is observed.
Mr. Ban reiterates his appeal to the Government of Bahrain to ensure that the people have the right to a fair trial, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
He says the only way to promote peace, stability and justice in Bahrain is to have all-inclusive and meaningful dialogue that addresses the legitimate aspirations of all Bahrainis.
Charles Appel, United Nations