Bahraini activists’ harsh jail sentences arouse Iran’s outcry
Fri Sep 7, 2012 7:25AM
As already announced, the Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the only solution to [solve] the Bahraini crisis and restore stability and security to the country is [for the Bahraini government] to respond responsibly to the people’s legitimate demands." Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin MehmanparastIran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has voiced deep concern over the harsh jail sentences handed down to a number of Bahraini activists, urging Manama to respect the legitimate rights of its people. A Bahraini civilian court on Tuesday upheld the verdicts of 13 leading opposition figures who had previously been convicted by a military tribunal of “plotting to overthrow the monarchy.” Seven of the activists, including the prominent human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, had been given life sentences by the military court. Mehmanparast said on Thursday that the verdicts were the continuation of the regime’s “wrong and fruitless policy” of suppressing the Bahraini people’s peaceful protests. He pointed to the blatant violation of human rights in Bahrain and called on the Manama government to respect the basic rights of its people. “As already announced, the Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the only solution to [solve] the Bahraini crisis and restore stability and security to the country is [for the Bahraini government] to respond responsibly to the people’s legitimate demands,” he said.
“[Iran] stresses that continuing the current ill-advised policy will further complicate the situation in the Arab country, the negative consequences of which will affect the entire region as well,” he added.Amnesty International has called on the Bahraini regime to quickly release the activists, saying the verdicts are “outrageous.” Bahrain’s main opposition groups on Tuesday condemned the “mock trials,” adding in a statement that “Those are politically motivated verdicts that have no judicial value, because they have been based on a vindictive methodology,” they said. The tiny Persian Gulf island state, which is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, has been the scene of anti-regime protests since February last year and scores of people have been killed and hundreds more injured in the Saudi-backed crackdown on the protests. AR/MA/AZ