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Bahrain jails bodybuilding champion, other sportsmen

A military court in Bahrain has sentenced three sportsmen to one year in prison for taking part in pro-democracy protests that the Gulf Arab state crushed earlier this year, a lawyer said. The three, all members of Bahrain's majority Shi'ite community, are bodybuilder Tareq al-Fursani, a gold medallist in several Asian championships, Ali Said, a goalkeeper in the national soccer team, and Mohammed Hassan al-Dirazi, a member of the national basketball team, said lawyer Mohsen al-Alawi, who was in court when the verdicts were read on Sunday. The men, who are not in detention and can appeal against their convictions, were tried in a military court because they are employees of the Bahrain Defence Forces. They were found guilty of illegal congregation, inciting hatred for the system, and not obeying orders regarding involvement in politics. reuters.com Also Read: Handball players from Bahrain jailed for 15 years , Oct 2011

Bahrain postpones trial of 61 athletes accused of protest links By Associated Press, November 29, 2:41 PM MANAMA, Bahrain A Bahrain court has postponed the trial of 61 athletes and sports officials accused of links to anti-government protests. Defense attorney Mohsen al-Alawi says the hearing was rescheduled for Jan. 4 because most of the defendants did not appear at Tuesdays proceedings. They include

handball, basketball and volleyball players along with referees and administrators for several sports. BYSHR mad a list of 58 athletes on trail here The charges include illegal assembly and inciting hatred against Bahrains Sunni monarchy. The defendants are among 150 Shiite sportsmen detained as part of crackdowns on protests by Bahrains Shiite majority seeking a greater political voice. An independent report issued last week accused authorities of widespread abuses including torture. washingtonpost.com Related:
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Report on Arrest & Torture of The Athletes Of Bahrain , Nov 2011 Handball players from Bahrain jailed for 15 years , Oct 2011 Mid East Posts: What to do About Bahrain? A Headache For Both Obama and Blatter, Aug 2011 The Economist: Football in Bahrain: A house divided, Aug 2011 Human Rights First Urges FIFA, U.S. World Cup Team to Condemn Bahrains Attack on Athletes , July 2011 The Times: Bahrain's soccer stars tortured in custody , July 2011 Bahrain: Arrest, military trials, & suspension from sport activities, for athletes who practice their legitimate rights , July 2011 BYSHR Report: Sports defendant in Bahrain, because of freedom of opinion and expression , April 2011 AP: Bahrain soccer stars pay price for protesting