A Bahrain court ordered retrials on Monday for a prominent hunger striker and 20 others convicted by a military tribunal in crackdowns against the civil rights movement in the Gulf kingdom.
The case will now be heard in Bahrain's highest civil appeals court, which was seen as a victory by supporters of rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and other opposition figures sentenced last year during a period of martial law imposed by the ruling Khalifa dynasty.
At least 50 people have been killed in unrest since February 2011 in the kingdom, which is home to the US navy's 5th Fleet.
Mr Khawaja's nearly three-month hunger strike has become the latest rallying point for the demonstrations.
Bahrain's official news agency said the appeals process will see a complete re-examination of evidence.
Defence lawyer Hassan Radhi said the appeals court will decide whether to grant bail while the review is under way. But no date has been set to begin the appeal proceedings, he said.
It was also not immediately clear whether Mr Khawaja would continue his hunger strike, which he launched on February 8 and has brought him close to death.
He and seven other high-level opposition figures were sentenced last year to life in prison by a military court, which has since disbanded.
Six others were sentenced to lesser jail terms as part of the group accused of anti-state crimes. Seven more were convicted in absentia.
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