EUROPEAN UNION Brussels, 31 August 2011 A 341/11

The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today:

"As the holy celebrations of Eid Al-Fitr draw the annual fast to a close for many Bahrainis, the High Representative would like to recall the situation of those who have been moved to mark the occasion by going on hunger strike in protest at what they see as continued unfair trials.

Many cases remain in the hands of the ‘Court of National Safety’, set up in the wake of the antigovernment protests this spring. These include those of members of both the medical and teaching professions. The High Representative is of the firm belief that civilians must be tried in civilian courts, with due process, so that their full rights to a fair trial are upheld. The High Representative urges the authorities in Bahrain to follow through on their commitments and bring the use of these courts – and the harsh sentences they have produced – to an immediate end.”