Bahrain court sentences 8 protesters to 73 years in jail

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Bahraini protesters clash with police in Manama's suburb of Bilad al-Qadeem on January 30, 2015. (AFP photo)

A Bahraini court has handed down prison sentences totaling 73 years to eight anti-regime protesters, including a child.

Bahrain’s criminal court on Saturday issued 10-year jail terms for seven activists each, while sentencing a minor to three years in prison, according to the website of the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, the country's main opposition party.

Bahrain’s prosecutor general said the eight were convicted on charges of attacking a police officer during a demonstration in March. The attack wounded the policeman while a vehicle belonging to the security forces was also vandalized, the official said.

According to the court, the activists’ participation in the protests held in Manama’s Bilad al-Qadeem suburb and their use of Molotov cocktails and stones against the security forces was tantamount to committing terrorist acts.

Bahraini courts have sentenced more than 200 activists to long-term prison sentences on charges of involvement in terrorist activities and acting against the national security. At least 70 activists have received life imprisonment since the uprising began in Bahrain in 2011.

A recent report by Human Rights Watch said Bahraini courts have become more active in sustaining repression in the country.

The ruling Al Khalifa regime has launched a heavy-handed crackdown on the peaceful anti-government movement in Bahrain, which started in 2011.

The tiny Persian Gulf kingdom has seen an escalation of protests over the past months after the regime in December arrested Sheikh Ali Salman, a senior cleric and the secretary general of al-Wefaq.


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