Bahrain delays verdict in protest leaders' retrial

August 14, 2012 16:26

DUBAI - Bahrain on Tuesday delayed until next month a ruling in the retrial of 20 men convicted of leading an uprising last year, lawyers said, a case under scrutiny from US officials keen for acquittals to help restore calm in a regional ally against Iran.

Bahrain, where the US Fifth Fleet is based, has been in turmoil since a protest movement dominated by majority Shi'ite Muslims erupted in February 2011 as part of the wave of popular revolts against repressive dynasties across the Arab world.

The 20 men - including seven being tried in absentia - are believed to be among hundreds who an international rights commission assessed in November had been tortured during a period of martial law imposed to help quell the uprising.

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