Bahrainis protest death penalties for fellow citizens

Bahraini people the protest death sentences handed down to three fellow citizens in the village of Abu Saiba on January 14, 2014.

People have taken to the streets of two Bahraini villages to denounce a latest court ruling that upheld death sentences against three anti-regime demonstrators. 

The protests, called by Bahraini clerics, took place in the northern villages of Abu Saiba and Shakhurah on Saturday, the website of Bahrain’s LuaLua TV reported.

The demonstrators were holding placards reading, “No to execution” and “We are not afraid of execution.”

In a statement, Bahraini clerics had earlier called on people to take part in Saturday’s “demonstration of rage” in a bid to save the lives of innocent youths facing death in an unfair trial.

On January 9, Bahrain’s Court of Cassation found Sami Mushaima, Abbas Jamil Tahir al-Sami’ and Ali Abdulshahid al-Singace guilty of killing a member of Emirati forces assisting Manama in its suppression of Bahraini protesters in the northern village of al-Daih back in March 2014. The defendants have denied the charge.

Bahrainis protest the death sentences handed down to three fellow citizens in the village of Abu Saiba on January 14, 2017.

The court also sentenced seven other defendants to life imprisonment and stripped eight others of their nationality.

Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch released its 2016 world report, accusing Bahrain of having stepped up its suppression of activists and those critical of the Manama regime’s conduct in 2016.

On Thursday, the New York-based rights organization accused Bahraini authorities of having prevented several activists from leaving the island and deporting six nationals after arbitrarily stripping them of their citizenship.

Home to US Navy’s 5th Fleet, Bahrain has witnessed a wave of anti-regime demonstrations since mid-February 2011.

Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others wounded or detained amid Manama’s ongoing crackdown on dissent and widespread discrimination against the country’s Shia majority.

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