A Bahraini protester faces regime forces during an anti-government demonstration in a village near Manama, June 8, 2012.
The Bahraini court of appeals has sentenced nine doctors to up to five years in prison over charges of involvement in demonstrations against the ruling Al Khalifa regime, a judicial source says.
The court on Thursday also acquitted nine other medical personnel, the source said.
The 18 Bahraini medical personnel are among the 20 accused doctors and nurses from the Salmaniya Medical Complex in the capital, Manama, which was stormed by regime forces in March 2011.
Two other personnel from the group remain at large and they have not appealed, the source said.
The 20 doctors and nurses were initially handed prison sentences of between five to 15 years by a semi-military court, but they were retried in a civil court following a public prosecutor's dismissal of their confessions, alleging they had been extracted under torture.
The group faces a range of charges, mainly occupying the hospital and illegal acquisition of medicines as well as participating in anti-regime demonstrations.
The court ruling on Thursday comes at a time when the Manama regime forces continue the violent crackdown on peaceful protests in the country.
On Wednesday, reports said a five-year-old boy and his father were injured when security forces opened fire in the area where the man and his son were selling fish in the village of Dair, located on the northern coast of the Muharraq Island.
Bahraini demonstrators hold King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa responsible for the killing of protesters during the uprising that began in February 2011.