Apr. 30 - Activist Horr al-Sumaikh, one of 21 leaders of last year's uprising convicted by a military court, is released to a warm welcome from his village of Nuwaidrat as demonstrators stage anti-government protests. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
Bahrain should release immediately leaders of last year's pro-democracy uprising, including a rights activist on hunger strike, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday (May 1), after an appeals court ordered a retrial. The cassation court, the highest judicial body in the Gulf Arab state, moved the case of 21 men who were tried in a military court amid accusations of torture to a civilian court and released one of the lesser-known men, Horr al-Sumaikh. Seven of the 21 are abroad or in hiding. The court said 20 would remain in custody, including Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, being held in a military hospital after nearly three months of hunger strike. Sumaikh, who was released by the appeals court, was given a hero's welcome in his village of Nuwaidrat on Monday (April 30) night. "Of course today is a happy day for the release of my brother, Horr al-Sumaikh, after a period of one year and one month, and he has been freed from his sentence and the sentence ruled was a period of six months. And, as you see, the situation is excellent and, as you see, all came to meet one who has spent a long time away and we wish to see the rest of other political and rights activists freed," his brother Mohammed said as well-wishers met him with flowers and hand-clapping. Meanwhile protesters staged an anti-government rally in his village of Nuwaidrat ahead of Labour Day, holding banners reading "Where's my job?" and chanting "Down, down Hamad (King of Bahrain)". Bahrain remains in turmoil over one year after the protests, led by the island's Shi'ite majority, first erupted following successful revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.