Amnesty International urged Bahrain on Friday to release 13 jailed opposition peaceful activists.
The Court of Cassation in Manama is due to decide on Monday whether or not to grant the men’s request to be released on bail, with a “small possibility” that their sentences will be quashed, Amnesty said.
“Monday’s decision will be a real test for the Bahraini authorities and their allies, if they want to prove once and for all that they are genuinely committed to respecting and protecting human rights,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty’s deputy director for the region.
“These men must be immediately and unconditionally released. Their sentences and convictions must be quashed,” she added.
Sahraoui urged Bahrain’s allies to put pressure on the authorities “to drop the pretenses of reform and immediately back up their words with real actions.”
In September, an appeals court upheld life sentences for seven of the activists, including leading figure Abdulhadi Khawaja, and jail terms ranging from five to 15 years for the others.