Bahraini court orders retrial of jailed opposition activists – Trend

Bahrain’s Appeal Court on Monday ordered retrial in the case of prominent jailed opposition activist Abdulhadi Al Khawaja.

The court said in its verdict that the retrial will take place in a civil court, Xinhua reported.

Al Khawaja was jailed for life last year by the National Safety Court on several charges including plotting to overthrow the administration by force.

The court also ordered retrial in the case of 20 other people who were arrested with Al Khawaja last year during the unrest which allegedly had links with foreign terrorist organization. The defendants include Shia cleric Hassan Mushaima and Ebrahim Sharif, secretary-general of the National Democratic Action Society, a leftist group.

via Bahraini court orders retrial of jailed opposition activists – Trend.

Bahrain adjourns appeal for hunger-striking activist – Trend

Bahraini court postponed the appeal Monday of a hunger-striking activist jailed in connection with the Gulf country’s uprising last year, his defence lawyer said dpa reported

The appeal for Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, along with 20 other activists, was adjourned to April 30.

Al-Khawaja, who holds both Bahraini and Danish citizenship, was sentenced to life in prison for his role in protests led by the country’s Shiite majority, demanding more rights from the ruling Sunni royal family.

He was convicted by a military court of plotting against the state. He has been on hunger strike for more than two months in protest at the life sentence he received in June.

Several opposition members were standing outside the court to demonstrate against the trial, amid heavy security presence. Earlier this month, Bahrain rejected a proposal to transfer al-Khawaja to Denmark for medical treatment.

While his family expressed concern about his deteriorating health, fearing that he might die in prison, Bahrain’s attorney general issued a statement insisting the 52-year-old activist was in “good health.”

International human rights groups including Amnesty International have called on Bahrain to release al-Khawaja.

Earlier this month, the European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton urged Bahrain to save al-Khawaja, saying his health was “a matter of the utmost urgency.”

via Bahrain adjourns appeal for hunger-striking activist – Trend.

British, Japanese journalists held in Bahrain – Trend

British TV crew and two Japanese journalists were detained by the Bahraini police on Sunday, RIA Novosti reported.

“We can confirm that our foreign affairs correspondent Jonathan Miller and his team have been arrested whilst reporting for the programme from a village in Bahrain,” Channel 4 News spokesperson said. “Our primary concern is for the safety of the team, and we are working with the appropriate authorities to secure a swift release.”

The team failed to obtain journalist visas and worked without official accreditation to cover the Bahrain Grand Prix and civil unrest, the channel said on its website.

The corresponded came in contact with the Channel 4 news service and told that police were aggressive during the arrest, especially against the team’s local driver, who was arrested and assaulted in front of the team, and then separated from them.

“We are operating without accreditation, so when we were caught filming a planned demonstration in one of the Shia villages – they [police] have not been particularly pleasant. They’ve been very aggressive towards me, my crew and driver and Dr Al Shihabi, a prominent human rights activist.” Miller said while being taken to a police station.

“Right now we’re concerned for our driver…things are rather worse for Bahrainis in police custody,” he added.

A prominent opposition activist, Mohammed Al-Maskati, told RIA Novosti that police also arrested two Japanese journalists who covered protests on a highway leading to the Bahrain International Circuit, where a Formula 1 Grand Prix took place on Sunday.

via British, Japanese journalists held in Bahrain – Trend.

Clashes in Bahrain as protesters mark Workers’ Day – Trend

Security forces and protesters clashed in Bahrain’s capital Manama and several other areas Tuesday, after people responded to a call from opposition groups for nationwide protests to mark International Workers’ Day.

In Manama, several people were injure as police dispersed protesters. The February 14 Youth Coalition had called for 15 such protests under the slogan “A hand builds and a hand resists.”

All protests began at the same time, 12:30 am at various villages and parts of the capital, DPA reported.

The group said the protests were meant as a sign of gratitude for the workers and to express solidarity with those who had been sacked from their jobs after last year protests.

The island country’s majority Shiites have been taking to the streets since early last year, demanding more rights from the ruling Sunni royal family.

More than 2,000 people were sacked from their jobs in connection with the protests.

via Clashes in Bahrain as protesters mark Workers’ Day – Trend.

Iran to manufacture multiple sclerosis cure – Trend

Iran will start domestic manufacture of Glatiramer acetate, which is used as a treatment for multiple sclerosis, General Director of Iranian “Tofik Daru” research company Huseyn Attar said, IRIB News reported.

Glatiramer acetate is an immunomodulator drug currently used to treat multiple sclerosis.

Although the clinical definition of multiple sclerosis requires two or more episodes of symptoms and signs, glatiramer acetate is approved for treatment after single episodes. It is also used to treat relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. It is administered by subcutaneous injection.

The drug was discovered first and manufactured in Israel, by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd – an international pharmaceutical company headquartered in Petah Tikva, Israel. Teva Pharmaceuticals is one of the 15 largest pharmaceutical companies worldwide.

Huseyn Attar added that Iran up until now has been importing Glatiramer acetate, however now the country will be able to manufacture it domestically.

“We’ve been importing several types of peptide drugs, such as Fentanil, Alfentanil, Sulfentanil and Glatimer acetate, a total of seven types,” Attar said. “To be manufactured, they require special technology, and Iran is able to produce them domestically”.

Attar added that Islamic Republic will be able to domestically manufacture 15 types of peptide drugs, among which is Glatimer acetate.

via Iran to manufacture multiple sclerosis cure – Trend.