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Legal Matters

U.S., UN Criticize Bahrain’s Execution Of Shi’ite Men For 2014 Attack

The United States and the UN have criticized Bahrain over the executions of three Shi'ite Muslim men who had been convicted of a deadly bomb attack on police.

The UN Human Rights Commissioner's office issued the harshest rebuke, saying on January 17 that it was "appalled" by the executions, carried out by firing squad on January 15 after a court rejected an appeal by the men. It said it had "serious doubts whether the accused were provided with the right to fair trial."

A U.S. State Department spokesman said the United States was "concerned" about the executions, while also acknowledging that "violent attacks against the police...are reprehensible, of course, and deserve condemnation."

The men, members of Bahrain's Shi'ite Muslim majority, were found guilty of involvement in a village bomb attack in March 2014 that killed three police officers.

The executions were earlier criticized by Britain and the EU, as well as by Shi'ite -dominated Iran.

Bahrain is a strategic U.S. ally and home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet. It has a majority Shi'ite population that has complained of being marginalized by ruling Sunni authorities.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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