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Bahrain TV airs terror plot confessions

Bahrain TV airs terror plot confessions

Bahraini state television on Sunday aired confessions from six of the 14 men arrested for plotting attacks on the tiny Gulf island's capital.
During the 40-minute program, the six men calmly explained how they were taught by a Syrian and an Iraqi how to build bombs in a remote Syrian farmhouse.
The tiny oil-refining and banking Gulf island is a close U.S. ally and also hosts the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.
Bahrain announced the arrest Saturday, saying the suspects were planning to attack commercial sites, the diplomatic district and night clubs in Manama on the Dec. 17 national holiday.
Human rights lawyers in Bahrain said the aired confessions did not "respect" the concept of a fair trial.
Abdullah al-Derazi of the Bahrain Human Rights Society told the Associated Press that the suspects had been tortured.
"These confessions came under the influence of physical torture and they must be brought before a neutral medical committee," he said.
Bahrain said Saturday it was in contact with Syria over the possible presence of a militant cell on its territory.
Lawyers for the suspects condemned the televised confessions and maintain the men were only arrested because they were Shiite.
"What I saw on Bahrain television shows that we live in a police state that does not respect its courts or constitution and the principles contained in it," said defense lawyer Mohamed Ahmed.
The country has seen unrest as recently as last December when the Shiites staged widespread protests, fueled in part by economic disparities between the predominantly Sunni ruling elite and the country's poorer, Shiite majority.
Dec. 17 marks the anniversary of the day Bahrain's king accession to power in 1999.


Updated : 2021-03-09 18:30 GMT+08:00