World Bulletin / News Desk
Two Bahraini policemen were sentenced to jail for seven years each on Sunday for beating to death a Shi'ite opposition activist in custody during last year's crackdown on protesters.
The sentences, reported by state news agency BNA, were criticised as too lenient by critics and may do little to blunt international criticism of human rights abuses since Bahrain's Sunni Muslim rulers quelled a Shi'ite-led uprising last year.
In April 2011, Kareem Fakhrawi - a businessman and member of Wefaq, the leading opposition group in Bahrain - died in custody, a week after failing to return home from a police station where he had tried to complain about his house being demolished by police, opposition members said.
"We didn't expect it would be just seven years," said Wefaq member Sayed Hadi al-Mousawi, criticising the sentences.
"The prosecutor changed the charges from 'torture leading to death' to 'beating leading to death'. They don't want to admit that there was torture," he told Reuters.
In July, Bahrain charged 15 policemen with "mistreatment" of detainees, as part of an investigation into reports of torture of protesters rounded up in a crackdown on unrest.
A commission of international legal experts reported in November that torture had been systematically used to punish and extract confessions from hundreds of protesters during the period of martial law last year.
It also said that 35 people, mainly protesters, had died during the unrest, five of them as a result of torture.
Thousands were arrested and military trials were instituted during the martial law period.
Washington has called on its ally to talk to the opposition, but unrest has continued. Police and demonstrators clash almost daily and each side blames the other for the violence.
The opposition says little progress has been made towards its demands for reforms including a parliament with full powers to legislate and form governments.
Bahrain's interior minister has denied that police were given any orders to torture or kill protesters.
Tusk said the European Union would impose sanctions on Russia starting on Monday over its military intervention in Ukraine's Crimea region
A Ukrainian airline plane was turned back on its way from Kiev to Simferopol, the region's main city, and had to return to the Ukrainian capital.
The United States says both the air drills in Poland and its joint naval exercises in the Black Sea were planned before the crisis in Ukraine
The women were taken after soldiers without insignia spotted a pro-Maidan tattoo on one of the women's hands at a checkpoint.
If the referendum scheduled for March 16 votes in favour of leaving Ukraine, then Crimea will be declared an independent and autonomous republic, according to a press statement from the parliament.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights demands that attacks on civilians in South Darfur are stopped.
A Palestinian youth and a judge were killed in the West Bank, Israel says regrets killing
The funeral ceremony for the Afghanistan's vice-president, who died at the weekend, has taken place.
After repeatedly being refused entry to Crimea, an unarmed OSCE military observer mission will instead go to other parts of Ukraine
If confirmed, the news would be a huge embarrassment for the government after top officials said the navy had seized the tanker and would escort it to a harbour controlled by Tripoli.
Acting ministers told parliament Ukraine had as few as 6,000 combat-ready infantry and that the air force was outnumbered nearly 100 to 1 by Moscow's superpower forces.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is to travel to Israel and Palestine for the first time to meet with the Israeli Prime Minister and the Palestinian President.
The victims were clearing mines laid by rebels on a road through a densely forested area in resource-rich Chhattisgarh state when the rebels attacked from all sides
In 2012, Iran seized 388 tonnes of opium, the equivalent of 72 percent of all such seizures around the world.
Crow was loathed by millions of Londoners after orchestrating a 48-hour tube strike that caused travel chaos earlier this year but loved by members of the RMT for whose rights he fought
Dozens of ships and aircraft from 10 countries scoured the seas around Malaysia and south of Vietnam as questions mounted