News   /   Persian Gulf

Bahrain court gives death, jail sentences to two dissidents

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)
This file photo shows the entrance to the building of Bahrain’s Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs in the capital Manama.

A court in Bahrain has handed down death sentence to an anti-regime activist and sentenced another to life in prison as the ruling Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with its heavy-handed clampdown on political dissidents and pro-democracy campaigners in the Persian Gulf kingdom.

On Tuesday, Bahrain's Fourth High Criminal delivered the death verdict to the prime suspect and sentenced the other defendants to life imprisonment in connection with a bomb explosion that ripped through a car in the village of Eker on June 30, 2016, killing a woman and injuring her three children, Arabic-language Lualua television network reported.

 The woman was later identified as 42-year-old Fakhriya Mosallam Ahmed Hasan.

The court also revoked the citizenship of the two, and passed three-year prison sentences to seven other defendants.

Ahmed al-Hammadi, head of the Terrorist Crimes Commission, said the decisions issued against the accused are based on oral evidence.

The court ruling against the second defendant, identified as Hassan Jassim Hassan al-Haiky, comes as he lost his life on July 31, 2016, after being tortured during interrogation at the notorious Criminal Investigation Building.

This photo provided by the state-run Bahrain News Agency shows the aftermath of a bomb attack in the village of Eker, south of the capital Manama, on June 30, 2016.

Hayki was among three suspects arrested in connection with the Eker bombing. The Public Prosecutor's Office claimed in a statement that the trio had confessed to their involvement in the attack, and Bahraini judicial authorities ordered their imprisonment then.

Hayki was subjected to severe torture for 10 days, before Bahrain’s state-run television channel broadcast his pictures, which showed tiredness and fatigue on his face.

Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.

They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.

Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.

Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.

On March 5, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.   

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3.

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