SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: December 26, 2012

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Prosecution

Institution(s):Bahrain University

Region & Country:Western Asia | Bahrain

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On December 26, an appeals court reduced the fifteen-year prison sentences of seven students allegedly convicted for participating in peaceful, pro-democracy protests in March 2011. The students, who were convicted of attempted murder, setting fire to Bahrain University, and inciting hatred against the government, were sentenced in October 2011. According to sources, their confessions were extracted under torture and evidence demonstrating that several of the students were not present at the university during the alleged attacks was not permitted at trial. Bahrain’s Supreme Criminal Appeals Court reduced the students’ sentences to five years (3 students), three years (3 students), and six years (1 student previously released on medical grounds).