The Deputy Attorney General Abdulrahman Alsayed confirmed that the Civil High Criminal Court of Appeals in its decision in the case involving the President of the Bahrain Teacher’s Society (BTS) Mahdi Abu Deeb and his Deputy Jalila Salman.
Abu Deeb was sentenced to a prison term of five years, and Salman to a prison term of six months.
The cases were retried after sentences in the National Safety Courts were set aside and the case was moved to the Civil High Criminal Court of Appeals. The Court based its ruling on available evidence, as well as the Prosecution’s statements, as well as verbal and written pleadings made by the Defense. All charges involving freedom of expression were dropped. They may continue to appeal their case to the Court of Cassation, which is a right guaranteed by law.
Abu Deeb and Salman used their positions in the BTS to call for an illegal strike during the events of February 2011, advising teachers not to go to work and parents to pull their children out of school. Teachers on strike gathered on school grounds and in front of schools, and trucks were used to ferry children to protests during school hours. According to the Deputy Attorney general, their aim was to paralyze the educational process, and as a result they deprived students from their right to learn and stirred up sectarianism in the schools.
“Teachers play a sacred role in society and must be mindful of their profession and authority. The abuse of this authority would not be tolerated in any society,” a spokesman for the Information Affairs Authority in a statement.
“Bahrain has seen a rise in school-aged young people playing an active role in street violence where many cause harm to security personnel, innocent bystanders, as well as to public and private property.”